Telenor considering unsolicited offer for CEE operations

Telenor considering unsolicited offer for CEE operations

Telenor has announced that it is weighing up an offer that it has received for four of its units in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

The “inbound and unsolicited” expression of interest covers Telenor’s operations in Bulgaria, Hungary, Montenegro and Serbia. CEO Sigve Brekke has declared the Norwegian group's intent to return to growth by raising funds and reducing expenditure, so selling off these operations would align with its goals.

Recent reports in the Bulgarian media had suggested that an interested party - suggested to be US investment firm KKR - was lining up a €2 billion bid for Telenor’s operations in three of these four markets. In June 2017, the US company was implicated as a potential buyer for Telenor Serbia.

Telenor stated that it would conclude its assessment by the end of Q1, saying: “Telenor’s CEE companies have strong market positions and solid financial results, and contributed in 2017 with approximately 9% of Telenor Group’s revenues and approximately 8% of EBITDA before other items.”

In Bulgaria, Hungary and Serbia, Telenor is the second-placed operator by connections. Across each market, it held around 3 million to 3.5 million connections at the end of Q4 2017. It leads the market in Montenegro with 376,000 connections.