UAE-based e& entered discussions with investment company PPF Group to explore potential business opportunities in Europe, part of the operator’s ambitions to expand beyond its home market.

In a filing with the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, e& noted the pair had earmarked central and southeastern Europe, excluding Czech Republic, as potential target markets.

e& stated it will “keep the market updated” on the progress of the talks, which it explained are at an early stage.

PPF Group specialises in telecommunications, financial services, media and e-commerce with presence in 25 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia and North America.

It is headquartered in Czech Republic with a diverse investment portfolio which includes Hungary operator Yettel and O2’s Czech operations, which it bought from Telefonica in 2013.

As part of its global push, e& has built a 12 per cent stake in Vodafone Group, excluding treasury shares, an investment intended to give it exposure to a global leader along with helping it to forge potential commercial partnerships.

Earlier this year, it also bought a 50 per cent stake in Uber’s Middle Eastern subsidiary for $400 million as part of its commitment to boost digital offerings and push beyond telecoms.