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Hungary for M&A Action

Ray Le Maistre

12:14 PM -- Hungarian Telephone and Cable Corp. (Amex: HTC), or HTCC to its friends, has an itchy acquisition trigger finger, and it just can't stop pulling it!

The operator, which provides all sorts of fixed line services in the Eastern European nation of Hungary (as its names suggests), has just announced it's buying Austrian firm Memorex Telex Communications AG in a deal worth €90.5 million ($130 million). (See HTCC to Buy Memorex.)

No doubt it had to pay a premium for such an eclectic name.

Memorex offers a range of products (dark fiber, wavelengths, Ethernet connectivity) on a very interesting network -- 10,000 kilometers of fiber in Central and Eastern Europe, a market so hot you could roast your Christmas nuts on it. (See Eastern Promise.)

Previously, HTCC has bought: Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO)'s Hungarian fixed line business; Invitel Zrt. , the country's second biggest fixed carrier; and wholesale carrier PanTel, formerly majority owned by KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN). (See HTCC Buys Tele2 Hungary, TDC Subsidiary Buys Invitel, and KPN Sells Hungarian Assets.)

No wonder HTCC's revenues keep climbing -- it's buying up a neat position in the retail and wholesale sectors of one of Eastern Europe's key markets. (See HTCC Reports Q3.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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