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Report links e& to acquisition of $8.6bn Dutch telco

e& is not actively pursuing the buyout of the Dutch company United Group, said a company spokesperson e&
e& is not actively pursuing the buyout of the Dutch company United Group, said a company spokesperson

The UAE’s e&, formerly known as Etisalat, is planning to acquire Dutch telecom operator United Group BV as part of its overseas expansion strategy, according to a media report.

The Abu Dhabi-listed company has been evaluating a possible purchase of United Group, Bloomberg reported, citing informed sources.

Private equity firm BC Partners, the current owners of United Group, is seeking a valuation of €8 billion ($8.6 billion), the report said, adding that a formal sale process is expected to commence next month.  

However, a e& spokesperson told Bloomberg that the company is not actively pursuing the buyout of the Netherlands-headquartered company.

United Group operates in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Greece, the report said.

Abu Dhabi-headquartered e& last year agreed to buy a controlling stake in PPF Telecom Group’s assets in Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia and Slovakia. 

The UAE telco also owns a 14.6 percent stake in London-listed Vodafone.  

Last July e& confirmed it was planning to buy a stake in Ethio, a state-controlled operator in Ethiopia.

In August 2023, Saudi Telecom Company’s subsidiary, Tawal, purchased three United Group tower companies in Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia for €1.22 billion.

Separately, e& said consolidated net profit rose to AED2.3 billion, up 7 percent year on year, as consolidated revenue reached AED14 billion, up 9 percent annually.

The positive performance was driven by expanding partnerships across its verticals and continuous investments in developing critical infrastructure.

Consolidated Ebitda reached AED 6.4 billion, rising 3 percent year on year, resulting in an Ebitda margin of 45 percent.

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