4iG lodges bid for Telenor Montenegro

4iG lodges bid for Telenor Montenegro

Hungarian firm 4iG has signed a provisional agreement to acquire Telenor Montenegro from its parent firm PPF Telecom Group.

4iG clarified that it would conduct due diligence ahead of formalizing its offer, anticipating that this process would be complete by the end of September with the deal closing by the end of November. The acquisition will be subject to regulatory approval.

The acquisition is the latest move from 4iG as it seeks to establish itself in the European mobile sector. The firm is awaiting the acceptance of its offer to acquire the Hungarian unit of Digi Communications, and is also looking to obtain a majority holding in satellite firm SpaceCom.

4iG president and CEO Gellert Jaszai noted: “We see significant growth potential in the Western Balkans region, and we expect the economic growth of the region to be significantly boosted by the enlargement of the European Union in the next five years. In addition to the acquisition just announced, we would like to further increase our presence in the region. To this end, we are constantly exploring investment opportunities in the telecommunications and IT sectors.”

Telenor Montenegro leads the market with over 375,000 subscribers, although market share is relatively evenly split, with its two competitors each holding over 350,000 connections.

PPF acquired Telenor Montenegro in 2018 alongside the Norwegian group’s other CEE subsidiaries in Bulgaria, Hungary and Serbia as part of a €2.8 billion acquisition. Later that year, three operator and investment groups lodged bids for some of the units, including Telenor Montenegro, but PPF declined.

In 2020, PPF shot down speculation that it would offload the units as part of a wider restructure, although it now appears open to divesting its Montenegrin unit.