Telekom Austria Has $1B War Chest for Takeovers – Report

Austrian incumbent plans to expand its presence through takeover activity, says CEO.

Iain Morris, International Editor

April 9, 2018

1 Min Read
Telekom Austria Has $1B War Chest for Takeovers – Report

Telekom Austria has $1 billion available to spend on acquisitions in eastern Europe, CEO Alejandro Plater is reported to have told a press conference in Vienna earlier today.

Plater said that Telekom Austria's priority was to enter new markets in the region but that spending could also go on strengthening the business in existing markets such as Belarus, Croatia and Macedonia, according to Reuters.

Majority owned by Latin America's América Móvil, Telekom Austria Group serves nearly 21 million mobile subscribers and more than 6 million fixed-line customers across the market of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Belarus, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.

It reported revenues of €4.4 billion ($5.4 billion) in 2017, up 3% on sales in 2016, and made nearly €1.4 billion ($1.7 billion) in earnings (before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization), an increase of 2% on the 2016 figure.

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The operator has already been busy on the acquisition trail, picking up assets in several markets in 2016 and 2017. Acquisitions have included Belarusian fixed-line providers Atlant Telecom and Garant, as well as Croatia's Metronet, another fixed-line operator.

With the backing of América Móvil, Telekom Austria has emerged as one of the biggest power brokers in the region and appears to be on a solid financial footing.

Its net debt was just 1.7 times EBITDA at the end of last year. Most of Europe's former state-owned telecom monopolies report net-debt-to-EBITDA ratios of between 2 and 3.

— Iain Morris, News Editor, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Iain Morris

International Editor, Light Reading

Iain Morris joined Light Reading as News Editor at the start of 2015 -- and we mean, right at the start. His friends and family were still singing Auld Lang Syne as Iain started sourcing New Year's Eve UK mobile network congestion statistics. Prior to boosting Light Reading's UK-based editorial team numbers (he is based in London, south of the river), Iain was a successful freelance writer and editor who had been covering the telecoms sector for the past 15 years. His work has appeared in publications including The Economist (classy!) and The Observer, besides a variety of trade and business journals. He was previously the lead telecoms analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, and before that worked as a features editor at Telecommunications magazine. Iain started out in telecoms as an editor at consulting and market-research company Analysys (now Analysys Mason).

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