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e& Units Its Sights on Europe

United Arab Emirates (UAE) telco e&—previously often called Etisalat Group—is slowly however absolutely constructing a presence in Europe.

In early August, e& agreed to take a majority (50% plus one share) stake in PPF Telecom Group’s Central and Jap European companies throughout 4 nations, together with cellular community operations underneath the Yettel and O2 manufacturers.

The transaction covers PPF’s operations in Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary (all Yettel), and Slovakia (O2) and is predicted to shut in or earlier than the primary quarter of 2024, topic to regulatory approvals.

In addition to the upfront sale worth of €2.15 billion ($2.36 billion), PPF will obtain as much as €350 million in earn-out funds if sure targets are met inside three years.

The 4 PPF companies served a mixed 10.3 million cellular subscriptions as of mid-2023.

New European Property
e& Acquisitions from PPF Group

Nation Operator Market Place Market
Bulgaria Yettel 3/3 32% 2.8 M
Hungary Yettel 3/4 26% 2.9 M
Serbia Yettel 2/3 32% 2.7 M
Slovakia O2 2/4 30% 1.9 M

Supply: TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database

Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO of e&, commented: “By combining PPF Telecom’s experience with our personal revolutionary capabilities, we’re poised to determine a serious telecommunications presence in central and japanese Europe. We goal to understand synergies, optimize procurement efficiencies, and improve buyer choices, establishing our place as a number one international tech group.”

Vodafone Stake

The UAE group already has a stake in a serious European participant.

In Could 2022, e& spent $4.4 billion to amass 2.766 billion shares in UK-based Vodafone Group, representing 9.8% of the latter’s issued share capital. By April 2023—through a sequence of incremental strikes over the previous couple of months—it raised its stake to 14.6%.

On the time of the preliminary share buy, e& mentioned it made the funding in Vodafone Group “to achieve vital publicity to a world chief in connectivity and digital companies.”

In Could 2023, Vodafone Group and e& strengthened their partnership additional, unveiling what they are saying is “a strategic relationship that brings the 2 operators nearer collectively in sure points of their companies.”

The settlement will see the 2 companies collectively providing cross-border digital companies to multinational and public sector clients within the Enterprise sector, whereas additionally working collectively within the Provider, Wholesale, and Roaming phase.

It was reported in early August 2023 that e& was seeking to enhance its curiosity in Vodafone to as much as 20%, though it says it has no plans to make a full takeover bid for the UK agency.

e& Background

e& is 60%-owned by the Emirates Funding Authority (EIA), itself owned by the UAE federal authorities. The rest is in free float.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that e& was fashioned underneath the Etisalat title in 1976, as an amalgamation of the general public telecom firms of the seven emir territories that make up the UAE.

After dropping its home monopoly in 2007, the telco went on to develop its presence overseas, constructing a world footprint through Etisalat Group with a view to offset stagnating home revenues.

e&’s consolidated enterprise now incorporates direct and oblique subsidiaries in 17 markets throughout the Center East, Africa, and Asia, overlaying a mixed inhabitants of round 500 million.

e&’s consolidated enterprise now incorporates direct and oblique subsidiaries in 17 markets throughout the Center East, Africa, and Asia, overlaying a mixed inhabitants of round 500 million.

Rising Income
e& Group Financials

  2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Whole Income ($M) 14,068 14,265 14,210 14,080 14,525 14,277
EBITDA ($M) 7,073 7,023 7,180 7,200 7,276 7,265
Working Revenue ($M) 4,752 5,011 4,799 5,067 4,994 5,098
Web Revenue ($M) 2,299 2,346 2,367 2,458 2,537 2,725
Combination Subs (M) 142 141 149 154 159 163

Supply: TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database

Exterior of the UAE, the agency’s Center Jap operations embrace a 28% stake in Saudi cellco Mobily (Etihad Etisalat) and a 66.4% share of Egypt’s Etisalat Misr.

The “Asia Cluster” contains a wholly-owned operation in Afghanistan, in addition to a 23.4% stake in Pakistan Telecommunication Firm Restricted (PTCL)—which owns cellular unit Pakistan Telecommunication Cellular (Ufone)—plus a minority stake in Sri Lankan cellco Hutchison Telecommunications Lanka (Hutch Lanka).

In Could 2014, e& accomplished the acquisition of an oblique stake in Maroc Telecom, which introduced with it operations in Morocco, Mali, Mauritania, Gabon, and Burkina Faso.

That very same month, e& introduced an intra-group sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary Atlantique Telecom (AT) to Maroc Telecom, overlaying telco companies in six West African nations. e& purchased a 50% curiosity in AT again in 2005, rising its stake to 100% by early 2010.

On the finish of June 2023, e& claimed an mixture consolidated subscription base of 165 million, up 3% year-on-year, with development reported in most of its key markets.

The group reported consolidated revenues of AED52.4 billion ($14.3 billion) in full-year 2022, down 2% year-on-year. EBITDA additionally dropped 2% to AED26.2 billion, whereas web revenue was up 7% at AED10.0 billion.

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