Telekom Austria Group and Telekom Slovenije have agreed to merge their respective Macedonian subsidiaries Vip Operator and ONE, the Vienna-based telco has announced. Telekom Austria will hold a 55% stake and have sole control of the newly created entity, while Telekom Slovenije will hold the remaining 45% stake. The agreement between the two parties also includes call and put options for the exit of Telekom Slovenije from the joint venture within three years from the closing of the merger. Due diligence of ONE is expected to take place in mid-November, with final merger clearance anticipated in 1Q15.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, ONE is the third largest mobile network operator in Macedonia, with a market share of 23.9% as of 30 June 2014, equivalent to around 562,000 subscribers. Meanwhile, Telekom Austria has offered mobile services in the country through Vip Operator since 2007. It had a market share of 26.4% and around 620,000 users as of end-June. The merger would see the enlarged entity topple current market leader T-Mobile Macedonia (49.7%) into second place.
Previously, in July this year, Telekom Austria acquired triple-play cableco Blizoo Macedonia from Swedish private equity house EQT.