Czech incumbent Cesky Telecom yesterday announced that it plans to join forces with mobile operator Eurotel to form a new integrated telco, Telefónica O2 Czech Republic. The board of directors met on Wednesday to approve the plans to merge the companies, which they say is designed to benefit from the technical expertise of Eurotel, Cesky Telecom, Telefónica and O2. Telefónica O2 Czech Republic will become operational in mid-2006, subject to regulatory approval.
Telefónica currently owns 69.4% of Cesky Telecom having bought into the company in April 2005 when the Czech state agreed to sell its entire 51.1% holding to Telefónica for CZK82.6 billion (EUR2.7 billion). It upped its stake in September that year. Eurotel is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cesky Telecom.