Ukrainian broadband network operator Datagroup has completed the acquisition of the country’s leading cableco Volia, forming a group with over 4,000 employees serving more than a million internet, pay-TV, OTT, telephony and B2B service customers, it announced yesterday (7 June 2021). Datagroup, 96%-owned by Horizon Capital, reached an agreement to acquire 100% of Volia on 22 December 2020, and received antimonopoly approval for the deal in April 2021, while that month the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) provided a USD65 million loan to help finance the takeover. US-based finance house Providence Equity Partners was previously Volia’s largest shareholder alongside minority stakeholders including the EBRD.
Datagroup CEO Mikhail Shelemba declared: ‘The merger between Datagroup and Volia has created a national fixed line leader across key customer segments – B2C, B2B and wholesale. The combined network will cover over four million Ukrainian households in the country’s top 50 cities. With over 30,000 kilometres of fibre infrastructure, it will be one of the largest networks in the country. Thanks to the integration of subscriber bases, optimisation of costs and business processes, as well as large-scale modernisation of the network, we expect the growth of the combined company to double over the next five years. In addition to solidifying our leading positions in all customer segments, the new organisation will focus on offering new complimentary services to its clients: cloud and cybersecurity for B2B customers, and IoT and OTT solutions for retail customers. Recently, Datagroup launched a full-scale modernisation project of its network, in partnership with Cisco, that will increase its throughput capacity by more than ten times, with the potential to scale up to 20 times. These initiatives, coupled with significant operational synergies and financial backing from EBRD and Horizon Capital, truly position us as a national leader, paving the way for further consolidation of a very fragmented fixed telecom market with over 6,000 registered internet service providers.’