Hungarian telecoms and IT group 4iG has reached an agreement with Andrea Mager, Hungary’s Minister for the Management of National Assets, to conclude the acquisition of a majority stake in state-owned infrastructure operator Antenna Hungaria with the strategic aim of combining the two groups’ service and infrastructure operations. Antenna Hungaria is the exclusive provider of national digital terrestrial television and analogue radio broadcasting in Hungary, and owns a 25% stake in mobile operator Telenor Hungary and the latter’s infrastructure associate CETIN Hungary. Antenna Hungaria also provides satellite communications services, LoRaWAN IoT network services and other telecoms/ICT services, while in November 2021 it completed the acquisition of AH Net (formerly MVM Net), which operates a national 450MHz LTE-based network providing government/public sector/wholesale clients with critical communications/M2M/IoT services, supported by a 9,000km-plus fibre network.
4iG’s existing Hungarian telecoms subsidiaries include broadband, pay-TV and mobile network operator DIGI (including Invitel), corporate/wholesale/ICT network operator Invitech and satellite operator Hungaro DigiTel. It also owns Telenor Montenegro, and is in the process of acquiring two Albanian operators ALBtelecom and ONE Telecommunications.
4iG’s statement explains its latest ownership transaction, noting that as a first step, 4iG will acquire a 71.6% stake in Antenna Hungaria through a capital increase ‘by contribution in kind’ by way of contributing to Antenna Hungaria 100% of its ownership in DIGI and its subsidiaries (Invitel, DIGI Infrastruktura and i-TV), in 4iG Montenegro (the exclusive owner of Telenor Montenegro), and in Invitech. The value of the capital increase approaches HUF402 billion (USD1.23 billion) and the share subscription and contribution agreement provides additional scope for 4iG to increase its ownership in Antenna Hungaria to a maximum of 80% ‘by further contributing companies that meet the profile of the telecommunications holding company.’ The Hungarian State will initially have a 28.4% stake in the group of companies, while 4iG’s 71.6% stake will give it controlling ownership.