Slovenian cableco Telemach has joined the United Group, which includes a number of telecoms operators across eastern Europe. The United Group, which is majority owned by Mid Europa Partners (MEP) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), already includes Serbia Broadband (SBB), Telemach Bosnia & Herzegovina, DTH platform Total TV (which covers Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia) and a further 15 small operators, including Absolut OK, KDS NS, Jet TV, Beogrid, Telekabel, VI-NET, and ArtNet. Commenting on the development, Telemach director Marko Ster said that sharing best practice and seeking synergies would help improve services.
According to the United Group, Telemach customers will be able to see the first benefits from 1 May, when the group’s operators will start to offer free calls between Slovenia, Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. MEP has been active in the region since 2007, initially through its investment in SBB and later through its acquisition of Telemach, which was previously owned by Liberty Global Inc (LGI). The United Group currently claims 1.65 million revenue generating units (RGUs) and presides over a unique infrastructure that covers a large part of Slovenia, Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina and includes over 10,000km of fibre-optic networks, connecting to Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana and Sarajevo. In the twelve months ended 31 December 2012 the United Group generated revenues of EUR180 million (USD234.4 million), with capital expenditure exceeding EUR50 million.