Vodafone looks East

10 Mar 2005

Montreal-based telecoms holding company Telesystem International Wireless (TIW) has confirmed that it is in talks with Vodafone over the possible sale of its interests in Romania’s MobiFon and Oskar Mobil of the Czech Republic. MobiFon claimed 4.91 million subscribers at the end of 2004, giving it a 48% share of the market, while Oskar had 1.83 million subscribers and a 17% market share. Vodafone already owns 21% of MobiFon, and has made no secret of its desire to expand outside of western Europe. The British cellco has confirmed the talks, but has insisted that thus far no offer has been made. It went on to say that any bid ‘would equate to a value per TIW share close to the closing price on 8 March’. The deal could, however, also include TIW’s share of the two Eastern European operators’ debt, thought to be close to USD850 million, iraising the value of any deal to over USD4 billion.

Canada, United Kingdom, Vodafone Czech Republic, Vodafone Group, Vodafone Romania