Telenor said it is considering an expression of interest made for four of its businesses in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).
The offer – described by the operator as “inbound and unsolicited” – covers its units in Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia, and comes a week after reports in the Bulgarian press suggested a bid of €2 billion was being prepared for its operations across three of the four markets.
In a statement, Telenor said it would assess the offer by the end of Q1 adding: “Telenor’s CEE companies have strong market positions and solid financial results, and contributed in 2017 with approximately 9 per cent of Telenor Group’s revenues and approximately 8 per cent of EBITDA before other items.”
Last week’s reports floated US investment company KKR – which was linked with Telenor’s Serbia unit in June 2017 – as the potential buyer.
Although the offer was unsolicited, divestment of the assets would fit with Telenor’s fundraising and cost-cutting strategy being implemented by CEO Sigve Brekke (pictured) in a bid to return it to being “a growth company”.
Telenor is the second-largest operator by connections in Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary with GSMA Intelligence estimating it held between 3 million and 3.5 million connections in each market at end Q4 2017.
It is the largest operator in Montenegro with 376,000 connections.