UAE-based e& played down media reports circulating earlier this week linking it with a potential buyout of Southeast Europe-focused telecoms and media player United Group.

In a stock market statement the company clarified it had not “entered into any negotiation or agreement” in relation to the business or its assets.

However, it added “consistent with our corporate strategy, e& continually reviews relevant market opportunities with the objective of maximising shareholder value”.

The disclosure was in response to media articles speculating the company had emerged as a suitor for the assets, which Bloomberg pinned at being worth €8 billion. The news outlet claimed United Group owner BC Partners was working with associates on a possible sale of the business, with e& a name in the frame.

United Group’s businesses comprise mobile operations in Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and Slovenia alongside various other assets in surrounding countries.

A move for United Group would have been no shock given e&’s strategy in recent years to increase its exposure to markets in Europe. So far this has included a deal with PPF for a majority stake in its operators covering four countries and building a substantial stake in Vodafone Group, which currently stands above 14.5 per cent.