The Czech Republic’s incumbent telco Cesky Telecom, has announced an agreement to purchase the 49% of Czech cellco Eurotel that it does not already own, for USD1.05 billion. When the sale is finalised, Cesky will finally have the 100% ownership that it has been trying to achieve since 2001. Throughout the negotiations there have been delays, with the three parties failing to agree on the valuation of shareholding. In November last year it was even announced that talks had been terminated completely.
Eurotel has led the Czech mobile market since its launch in 1991 and currently has just short of four million subscribers. At the end of March 2003 the cellco had a market share of 45.04%. It has only one serious rival, RadioMobil, which controls 40.48% of customers; a third contender, Cesky Mobile, (unrelated to the incumbent telco), has 14.48% share of customers. The Czech mobile market as a whole has burgeoned over the last two years, and in terms of penetration is on a par with some of the world’s more mature markets, with mobile penetration standing at 68%.