Romania’s leading broadband internet provider by users, quadruple-play operator RCS&RDS, is continuing its aggressive expansion strategy based on acquisitions of local cable/fibre operators, and has acquired close to 100,000 new customers via takeovers since the beginning of 2014, writes Romanian newspaper ZF, adding that the acquisitions were valued at more than EUR10 million (USD11 million). The latest takeover is reported to be Pan Electro, an operator in Calarasi and Ialomita counties, with over 10,000 subscribers, costing EUR2 million. Earlier, in November 2014 ZF writes that RCS&RDS completed the acquisition of cable/fibre operations in Cluj, with a base of approximately 50,000 customers, paying ‘EUR130 plus VAT per subscriber’, according to ZF’s sources, placing the transaction at a value of over EUR6 million (having earlier bought 100% of Cluj Fiber Optic Integrator which is responsible for the Cluj-Napoca region’s DuctCity fibre project). During January-September 2014 several other companies/cable groups – including Electrosim (Alba county), Vesatel (based in Reghin, Mures county), Channel 7 (Baia Mare), Moineasa TVS (Bihor) and KATV Star (Cisnadie) – with a total of around 50,000 customers were acquired by a combination of RCS&RDS and an associated operator, Clever Media Network. In July 2014 Clever Media also bought 8,000 internet, fixed telephony and cable TV customers from City-Net in Botosani.
The report notes that RCS&RDS’s cableco rival UPC Romania did not make any local acquisitions during the same period, and grew its subscriber base organically by around a net 50,000 customers.
Elsewhere, in other group news this week, RCS&RDS has agreed to sell its Digi TV operation in the Czech Republic to the utility company Lama Energy, which is the parent of Czech mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Lama Mobile.