Telekom Austria Group yesterday announced in a press release the acquisition of 100% of triple-play cableco Blizoo Macedonia for an undisclosed price, subject to anti-monopoly clearance. If approved, the merger will enable Telekom Austria Group’s Macedonian cellular subsidiary Vip Operator and Blizoo to offer bundled services including cable TV, fixed telephony, fixed broadband and mobile voice/data services, the fourth country in the group’s footprint to launch convergent fixed/mobile service ranges after Austria, Bulgaria and Croatia. Blizoo Macedonia, which is currently owned by Swedish private equity house EQT, claims 63,000 subscribers, of which 47,000 take broadband services. Its revenues reached approximately EUR10 million (USD14 million) in 2013. Neighbouring sister cableco Blizoo Bulgaria was not involved in the deal.
‘This move opens a broad range of exciting opportunities to Vip Operator, the second largest mobile operator in the Republic of Macedonia, by bringing together complementary assets and capabilities for future success. We are very pleased that after years of strong performance in the mobile-only segment, we are stepping forward into fix-mobile convergence, that will ultimately bring even greater benefits to Vip’s and Blizoo’s customers,’ said Nikola Ljushev, CEO of Vip Operator. Kiril Trendafilov, CEO of Blizoo Macedonia, added: ‘It is great that we are becoming part of Telekom Austria Group as we know this will make us stronger and will ensure sustainable value growth for our shareholders. We are looking forward to sharing experiences and working together with Telekom Austria Group, in particular with Vip Operator, in order to provide advanced products and services to our customers.’
Telekom Austria CEO Hannes Ametsreiter told a news conference that the purchase price for Blizoo Macedonia was in the ‘double-digit millions of euros’, and confirmed that the cableco was currently operating at a profit, reports Reuters, adding that the deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.