O2 Czech Republic to spin off mobile network – Mobile World Live

O2 Czech Republic to spin off mobile network

07 JAN 2015

In a rare move, O2 Czech Republic, which is majority controlled by local financial group PPF, has decided to go ahead with a spin-off of its mobile and fixed infrastructure.

Following a feasibility study, the operator has decided to place the networks into a separate entity, it said in a statement.

In addition, the company said the spun-off unit would be free to offer wholesale services to other telecoms operators in the market, although it was not specific on further details.

Its statement did not say whether O2 Czech Republic planned to dispose of either its services or networks businesses.

Also absent was the reason for the shift in strategy, although it is thought that the operator hopes for more regulatory freedom following the move.

The company also appointed Tomas Budnik as its new chairman, and Tomas Kouril as vice-chairman. Budnik replaced Luis Malvido who left the company on 31 December as part of changes following PPF taking a controlling stake last year.

According to GSMA Intelligence, O2 Czech Republic has more than five million mobile subscribers (end Q4 2014 figures). It is the second largest operator in the market behind T-Mobile.

A media report surfaced last summer that the operator was considering  a spin-off.

PPF, which is owned by the country’s richest man, Petr Kellner, completed an acquisition of a 66 per cent stake in O2 Czech Republic in January 2014. In July it increased its stake to 73 per cent via a mandatory offer to minority shareholders

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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