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4iG completes group restructuring via Antenna Hungaria takeover; Hungarian state holds minority share

13 Apr 2022

Hungarian telecoms and IT group 4iG has completed its majority takeover of the formerly state-owned infrastructure operator Antenna Hungaria via a capital increase valued at HUF534 billion (USD1.53 billion) which involved 4iG contributing the ownership of its portfolio of telecoms subsidiaries in Hungary, Albania and Montenegro, with the Hungarian state retaining a minority stake in the enlarged group.

4iG took a 76.78% stake in Antenna Hungaria – up from the 71.6% it initially announced upon finalising transaction terms with the government in February – while the state holds the remaining 23.22% of group shares. The capital increase saw 4iG contribute its entire telecommunications portfolio to Antenna Hungaria including: Hungarian broadband, pay-TV and mobile network operator DIGI and the latter’s subsidiaries Invitel, DIGI Infrastruktura and i-TV; Hungarian corporate/wholesale/ICT network operator Invitech; cellco One Montenegro (formerly Telenor); ALBtelecom (Albania, 80.27% owned by 4iG); and ONE Telecommunications (formerly Telekom Albania, 99.89%), with the recently-acquired dual Albanian assets – bought by 4iG in March 2022 – valued at HUF132 billion in the capital increase transaction.

Antenna Hungaria is the exclusive provider of national digital terrestrial television and analogue radio broadcasting in Hungary, and also provides satellite communications services, LoRaWAN IoT network services and other telecoms/ICT services. Other existing Antenna Hungaria/4iG subsidiaries include satellite operator Hungaro DigiTel and AH Net (formerly MVM Net), which operates a national 450MHz LTE-based network providing public sector and wholesale clients with critical communications/M2M/IoT services, supported by a 9,000km-plus fibre network, while the group owns a 25% stake in mobile operator Yettel Hungary (formerly Telenor) and the latter’s infrastructure associate CETIN Hungary.

4iG CEO Gellert Jaszai announced in a press release: ‘In the coming period, we will strive for cooperation and synergies between our companies, and we will further explore our acquisition opportunities in order to increase the market weight of the company group. Already in 2022, we want to appear under a unified brand name and with a new strategy with our telecommunication services in the B2C segment, not only in Hungary, but also in the Western Balkans region.’ The release added that the merger transaction created ‘Hungary’s second largest telecommunications group [behind Magyar Telekom], with a significant portfolio of services in the region and in the Western Balkans, in the markets for fixed voice and internet, television broadcasting and mobile services.’

4iG has the option of further capital increases in Antenna Hungaria, via which it can acquire a maximum share of 80% in the group.

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