e& in the running to acquire United Group as early as June

e& in the running to acquire United Group as early as June

The UAE’s e& is reportedly considering an acquisition of Europe-focused United Group for as much as US$8.6 billion (€8 billion).

Bloomberg News reports that United Group’s majority shareholder, private equity firm BC Partners, has been considering a sale for some time. Fellow equity firm KKR sold its controlling stake to BC Partners in 2019, although it retains a notable minority stake.

A formal sale process is reportedly planned to commence next month, and e& is understood to have “been evaluating the possible purchase” of United Group. Bloomberg noted that discussions are in the preliminary stages and that the unit could be sold to “multiple buyers.”

United Group was founded in Serbia and is headquartered in the Netherlands. It provides broadband and mobile services as well as pay-TV content in eight European markets, including Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

e& is seeking to expand outside of its home market – notably, in August 2023 it acquired a controlling stake in PPF Group’s telecoms assets in Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia and Slovakia. The operator also holds a 14.6% stake in Vodafone Group, having gradually increased this from its acquisition of a 9.8% holding in May 2022.

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