TMT Finance reports that Goldman Sachs has been selected by the shareholders of GTS Central Europe, a group which specialises in the delivery of enterprise and wholesale telecommunications business in central and eastern Europe, to explore the possible sale of the company. It is understood that under the plan, the global investment banking and securities firm will ‘assess appetite for buyers and review a range of options including a complete sale’ for GTS’s shareholders, which comprise a private equity consortium of: Columbia Capital, M/C Venture Partners, Innova Capital, HarbourVest Partners, Oak Investment Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners. One unnamed source is quoted as saying: ‘The company has been looking at a straight sale to gauge appetite from prospective buyers, but it’s my understanding that other options are also being put on the table, such as a refinance, a restructure, or a partial sale of the company.’
Last month, TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported that as part of a wider strategy to boost its position in eastern Europe, German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom (DT) was looking at two potential acquisitions – one of which is Warsaw-based GTS Central Europe. At the time a speculative valuation of EUR600 million (USD776 million) was placed on GTS, which owns and operates a fibre-optic and data-centre network throughout central and eastern Europe, including Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. It offers voice and data services across these geographies; assets include a 26,000km fibre network, 15,000 on-net buildings and 14 data centres. Since 2005 the group has been consolidating its footprint in the region, snapping up a number of smaller telecoms providers including: Aliatel, Contactel and Sitel (all Czech Republic); Telenor/Nextra, Quadia and Dial Telecom (all Slovakia-based), Interware in Hungary, Romanian group Donation and Energis Poland.
GTS Central Europe’s owners are targeting a deal equivalent to six times EBITDA which, based on its FY 2012 figures, equates to EUR618 million – broadly in line with market expectations.