United Group sells telecom towers in Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia to Saudi Tawal

Dutch-registered telecoms and media company United Group has agreed the sale of its mobile telephony towers in Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia to Saudi telecom infrastructure company Tawal for 1.22 billion euro in cash.

United Group said that the sale of 100 per cent in the subsidiary was in line with an industry trend of “separating and monetising mobile tower infrastructure by telecom operators in Europe and globally.”

The proceeds will allow United Group to significantly reduce debt and “freeing up cash flow for future growth,” the company said in a statement.

United Group CEO Viktoriya Boklag said in the statement that the deal “will support continued investment in our portfolio companies to ensure they remain competitive in their respective markets.”

The terms of the deal included a long-term agreement for continued use of the telecom towers infrastructure, the company said without giving further details. The transaction was expected to close in the second half of the year, subject to regulatory approval.

United Group acquired one of Bulgaria’s three mobile carriers, Vivacom, in 2020 and followed up with the acquisition of Nova Broadcasting Group, one of Bulgaria’s two largest private television broadcasters, and several Internet service providers.

It also owns telecom, cable TV and broadcasting assets in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

Tawal is the telecom infrastructure subsidiary of Saudi Telecom Company, which in turn is controlled by the Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund PIF.

(Photo: Ervins Strauhmanis)/flickr.com)

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