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KKR exploring EUR3bn sale of United Group

20 Jun 2018

Global investment fund KKR & Co [Kohlberg Kravis Roberts] is considering the EUR3 billion (USD3.5 billion) sale of its Eastern European telecoms unit, the United Group, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The United Group, which was founded back in 2007, comprises a number of operators within the telecoms and pay-TV space, including the likes of Serbia Broadband (SBB), Telemach Slovenia, Telemach Bosnia & Herzegovina and Telemach Montenegro, alongside a number of ‘ancillary brands’. The company was acquired by KKR from Mid Europa Partners in March 2014.

TeleGeography notes that the proposed sale coincides with a flurry of M&A activity in Eastern Europe. In March 2018, Telenor Group agreed to sell its assets in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) to Czech Republic-based PPF Group for USD3.4 billion on an enterprise value basis. The transaction – which is expected to be completed in Q3 2018 – includes Telenor’s wholly-owned mobile operations in Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Serbia, and includes the rights to use the Telenor brand until the first half of 2021. Meanwhile, in May this year Liberty Global agreed to sell its operations in Germany, Hungary, Romania, and the Czech Republic to Vodafone Group for a total enterprise value of EUR18.4 billion.

Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR), SBB, Telemach (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Telemach (Slovenia), Telemach Mobil (formerly Tusmobil), Telemach Montenegro, United Group

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