OTE-backed mobile group Cosmote has acquired Romanian 3G mobile network operator Telemobil (Zapp) for EUR207 million (EUR61 million in equity and EUR146 million in debt) from Saudi Oger. The deal will enable Cosmote’s Romanian unit, which is the country’s third largest mobile network, to gain Zapp’s 3G assets. Cosmote Romania does not have a 3G licence, while Zapp owns CDMA 450 MHz and UMTS 2100 MHz licences. Zapp’s 3G network currently covers 23 Romanian cities.
COSMOTE Group signed in Bucharest today an agreement for the acquisition of Telemobil S.A (Zapp). The share purchase agreement was signed by Mr. Michael Tsamaz, COSMOTE CEO, and on behalf of the seller, a member of the Saudi Oger Group, by Mr. Nadim Akkawi, Corporate Finance Director.
The consideration for the shares of Zapp is estimated at approximately 61 mil € (equity value), while COSMOTE will also assume the debt and other liabilities of Zapp, mainly concerning 3G and CDMA network roll out, estimated at approximately 146 mil €. Citigroup Global Markets Limited (CITI) and N M Rothschild and Sons Limited acted as COSMOTE’s financial advisors for the transaction.
COSMOTE CEO, Mr. Michael Tsamaz, commented: “The deal signed today marks a new cycle of growth and expanded customer base for COSMOTE Romania since the 3G and CDMA licences and infrastructure allow the company to offer cutting-edge data and voice services in Romania. In one of the most competitive markets in Europe, and in only 3.5 years of operations, COSMOTE Romania’s impressive track-record proves that the company is in a position to fully capture the benefits from our new investment”.
Zapp is the oldest mobile operator in the Romanian market. The company launched commercial operations in 1993. Today, it holds a CDMA license in the 450 MHz band and a 3G license at 2100 MHz. Its 3G network currently covers 23 Romanian cities. In 2008 Zapp’s revenues amounted to 61 mil € while its customer base exceeded 374 thousand post paid customers.
The acquisition is subject, among other conditions, to the approval of relevant Romanian authorities.