State-owned operator Telekom Srbija has purchased 100% of cableco Kopernikus Technology for around EUR200 million (USD228 million), Novosti reports. A spokesperson for the operator was cited as saying that the deal was financed in part by Telekom’s own funds and partly by a loan arrangement under ‘exceptionally favourable market conditions’. Details of the loan could not be disclosed, however, due to a confidentiality clause with the creditors, the official added. The state-backed group expects a return on its investment within five years and increase in operational profit of more than EUR23 million per year. According to the most recent data published by Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services (Regulatorna agencija za elektronske komunikacije i postanske usluge, RATEL), Kopernikus was Serbia’s third-largest ISP by subscribers with 3.3% of the sector at end-June 2018 – equivalent to around 49,170 users – and its fourth-largest media content distributor with around 51,000 subscribers.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Telekom Srbija is looking to shore up its position as a regional leader in the telecommunications sector, announcing in early September that it was looking into potential acquisitions of operators already present in the multimedia sector. Then in October the operator was confirmed to have entered the highest bid for Telekom Albania, but has faced opposition from Tirana, which cited security concerns.