The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) is providing a USD65 million loan to Ukrainian broadband operator Datagroup to help finance the latter’s pending takeover of Ukraine’s leading cableco Volia. Matteo Patrone, EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, said: ‘Ukraine’s increasing digitalisation requires large-scale investments to expand coverage, accelerate speed and improve quality. The merged entity will invest in better infrastructure, innovation and excellent customer service.’
Lenna Koszarny, CEO of Datagroup’s parent Horizon Capital, declared: ‘This merger will create a platform of sufficient scale to attract substantial capital investments to modernise Ukraine’s last-mile and national fibre infrastructure.’ Datagroup CEO Mikhail Shelemba added: ‘These funds will be invested in the business to support growth and development – the acquisition of Volia as well as full-scale network modernisation.’
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database (GCD) says that Datagroup’s December 2020 agreement to acquire 100% of Volia remains subject to antimonopoly approval but looks likely to avoid significant antitrust conditions as Datagroup is largely focused on the B2B segment, which accounts for less than 5% of Volia’s revenues. GCD adds that, pending the takeover by Datagroup, US-based finance house Providence Equity Partners is Volia’s largest shareholder, while the EBRD holds an indirect minority stake in the cableco.