PPF Group buys additional 7.16% stake in O2 Czech Republic; cellco launches LTE-A

7 Jul 2014

Czech investment group PPF has purchased an additional 7.16% stake in the country’s dominant fixed and mobile operator, O2 Czech Republic (formerly Telefonica O2 Czech Republic), it said today in a statement. No details have been divulged on the price it paid. The move follows the launch of a buyout offer in May this year, priced at CZK295.15 (USD14.63) per share, which expired last week.

In January this year Telefonica of Spain completed the sale of a majority stake in its operations in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to investment group PPF. The deal, valued at CZK63.6 billion, was cleared by the European Commission (EC) earlier that month. PPF acquired a 65.9% interest in the then Telefonica Czech Republic, which owns 100% of Telefonica Slovakia. The ‘O2’ brand currently used by Telefonica Czech Republic and Telefonica Slovakia will continue for a maximum of four years.

In a separate development, O2 Czech Republic has announced the launch of 4G Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A) technology in a number of locations in southeastern parts of Vysocina. According to Telecompaper the operator is able to offer peak download speeds of 112Mbps on the LTE-A network – using 10MHz and 5MHz blocks of spectrum – while its separate tests of carrier aggregation (CA) technology can achieve a peak 185Mbps throughput, it said. O2 Czech Republic is also looking to expand its overall LTE footprint, while simultaneously looking to ramp up access speeds.

O2 Czech Republic is the second Czech cellco to launch LTE-A, after T-Mobile switched on its own service combining two frequency bands (i.e. CA), to offer peak upload/download speeds of 225Mbps/50Mbps to customers in Mlada Boleslav.

Czech Republic, O2 Czech Republic (incl. CETIN), PPF Group