Tele2 will sell its Austrian business to Hutchison Drei Austria, which operates using the 3 brand, for €95 million, creating a business in a “better position to meet future customer needs in the Austrian market”.
3, which competes with Telekom Austria, will end up with 1,500 employees, around €1 billion in annual sales and 4 million mobile, landline and internet connections.
Tele2 said its Austrian unit had net sales of SEK1.1 billion ($135million) and 217,000 customers at the end of 2016.
“By taking over Tele2 Austria we close the last gaps in our range of offers and are moving closer to number one in the market not only for private, but also for business customers,” Drei Austria’s CEO Jan Trionow said.
“In the future we will be the only real alternative to the former monopolist,” he added, referring to Telekom Austria.
According to GSMA Intelligence, Telekom Austria was the market leader in Q1 2017 with 39 per cent market share, followed by T-Mobile (34 per cent) and 3 Austria (27 per cent).
Allison Kirkby, president and CEO, said the move is meant to create greater value for its customers and shareholders and will enable the operator to “focus on successfully executing our strategy in our remaining footprint”.
She said Tele2 wants to “focus on growth opportunities in markets where the company can be the customer champion of connectivity on its own infrastructure”.
Tele2 had entered the Austrian mobile market in 2015, launching an MVNO to offer “nationwide network coverage for the business-to-business segment”.
Tele2 will receive €85 million at closing, expected in coming months after customary competition approval, and up to €10 million over 12 to 24 months depending on the success of the integration process.