Ukrainian media tycoon and politician Boris Lozhkin is planning a takeover bid for the country’s largest cableco Volia as well as other broadband and pay-TV operators, BizLiga reports. According to unnamed telecoms management sources, Lozhkin’s investment company is conducting due diligence and is aiming to pay between USD100 million and USD150 million for 100% of the cable TV and internet provider, although several industry estimates put Volia’s value at above USD200 million. According to the sources, Volia’s largest shareholder Providence Equity Partners (34.9%) is looking to exit the company, whilst Lozhkin is also reportedly in discussions with several smaller operators including Triolan, Fregat, Tenet and Freenet (O3), with the idea of merging them with Volia to create a stronger national competitor to the largest fixed network operator Ukrtelecom.
In 2013 Lozhkin sold his media group UMH (established in 2000) to the VETEK group. In 2014-2016 Lozhkin served as head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine, tasked with implementing public institution reforms and anti-corruption measures, and in August 2016 he was appointed Secretary of the National Investment Council and freelance adviser to the President. In June 2017 it was disclosed that Lozhkin and former infrastructure minister Andrei Pivovarsky had formed a new investment company, and in September Pivovarsky told BizLiga that ‘an analysis of various business areas’ was ongoing (involving meeting with ‘many’ companies) although ‘so far we are not ready to buy anything’.