4iG acquires majority stake in ALBtelecom

Wednesday, December 8th, 2021 
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4iG Acquires Majority Stake In Leading Albanian Telecommunications Company

BUDAPEST — 4iG PLC has signed a final agreement to acquire 80.27% of the shares of ALBtelecom. The company is Albania’s leading fixed line internet and TV operator, the largest owner of a fibre network in the country and a mobile operator with a significant network of its own. The acquisition is another important step in the 4iG Group’s expansion strategy in the Western Balkans: the group expands in another country in the region as a strategic investor, bringing its telecommunications and digital services. Thanks to the transaction, Çalik Holding, one of the largest conglomerates of Turkey, will become an institutional investor in 4iG. The acquisition of a controlling majority stake in ALBtelecom is expected to be closed in January 2022, subject to the approval of the Albanian authorities.

4iG is expanding its telecom portfolio in the Western Balkans region, after entering into a definitive sale and purchase agreement to acquire an 80.27% stake in ALBtelecom from Cetel Telecom, a majority-owned subsidiary of Turkey’s Çalik Holding – 4iG announced on the Budapest Stock Exchange. The Albanian state will continue to exercise its minority ownership rights in the company through the Albanian Ministry of Finance and Economy (13.78%) and the Albanian Post (2.47%).

ALBtelecom’s shares will be acquired by 4iG in a multi-step transaction, which will result in Çalik Holding, one of Turkey’s largest conglomerates, acquiring a stake of around 3,2% in the Hungarian info-communications group as an institutionalinvestor. The Albanian state remains 4iG’s joint shareholder in ALBtelecom. The cooperation could open up further joint business opportunities for Çalik Holding and 4iG in the Balkans and Central Asia.

“ALBtelecom is a telecommunications provider with strong growth potential. The acquisition is an important step our expansion in the Western Balkans telco sector, which may open up further opportunities for us in the Albanian telecommunications and IT markets,” said Mr. Gellért Jászai, Chairman & CEO of 4iG, after the signing of the agreement. “We have come to the country as a strategic investor, where we want to be present in the long term in providing high quality services to retail and corporate customers. Our acquisition is an important step through our strategic goals, and we are committed to the development of the Albanian telecom sector and Albania’s digitalisation efforts” – stressed the Chairman-CEO.

“We are pleased that ALBtelecom will be owned by a strategic investor committed to the company. This is the first step in developing our strategic partnership with 4iG Group, which can provide further business opportunities for both of our companies in the future,” said Mr. Ahmet Çalik, President of Çalik Holding, about the agreement.

ALBtelecom that was founded in 1912 and now has 743 employees is present in all areas of telecommunications (television, fixed voice, mobile voice, and broadband internet). Last year, the company achieved an EBITDA of €17.4 million on revenues of €57.9 million. The company is the largest landline telecommunications provider in Albania with 168,000 fixed voice, 129,000 Internet and 71,000 TV subscribers, and the third largest mobile operator with 420,000 mobile subscribers. ALBtelecom has an outstanding telecommunications infrastructure: in addition to Albania’s largest optical backbone network of 4,500 kilometers, the company also has the geographically greatest optical network coverage (GPON). In addition to its wired infrastructure, ALBtelecom also has 450 mobile repeater stations, many of which provide network connectivity by its own optical network. The company launched its LTE (4G) – based services in 2015 and renewed its 2G/3G frequencies in 2019, which is typically required to provide mobile connectivity in mountainous areas. ALBtelecom has 88 exclusive stores nationwide.

The parties have not disclosed the transaction value. The transaction is expected to be closed in January 2022, following the approval of the Albanian authorities.

Links: 4iG; ALBtelecom