French telecoms group Iliad is to acquire the Polish cellco Play, which is registered under the name P4. Iliad has agreed to acquire a 40% stake in Play from its two reference shareholders and is launching a public tender for the remaining shares in a deal which values Play at around EUR2.2 billion (USD2.6 billion). The offer price of PLN39 (USD10.33) is a premium of 38.8% over the most recent closing share price, according to Iliad. The subscription period for the tender is open between 19 October and 17 November. The deal remains subject to obtaining clearance from the relevant regulatory authorities and notification of the planned acquisition will be submitted to the EC.
Iliad has purchased its 40% interest from Cyprus-registered Tollerton Investments, itself owned by Greek businessman Panos Germanos via Olympia Developments, and Switzerland-based Kenbourne Invest, which is owned by Novator Partners, an investment firm established by Icelandic entrepreneur Thor Bjorgolfsson.
Thomas Reynaud, Iliad’s Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘This excellent alliance constitutes a new growth driver for the Iliad Group and gives it access to one of Europe’s high-potential telecom markets. Pooling the expertise of Play’s and Iliad’s teams will reinforce the Iliad Group’s fundamentals through a combination of growth and innovation.’ Play is Poland’s second largest cellco by subscribers, with 12.45 million active customers at the end of June. At the same date Iliad had 13.41 million mobile subscribers in France and 6.26 million in Italy.