Czech entrepreneur Petr Kellner’s financial group PPF, which holds an 84.91% stake in the country’s incumbent PTO O2 Czech Republic, has confirmed that following a voluntary buyout offer of minority shareholders in the group’s infrastructure arm Ceska Telekomunikacni Infrastruktura (CETIN), it has reached the 90% threshold needed to trigger a mandatory buyout of the unit. Whilst privately held PPF has confirmed it will not attempt to raise its stake in O2 Czech Republic to over 90%, it will consider a squeeze-out of minority shareholders in CETIN.
In June this year, PPF Group launched a buyout offer for all minority shares held in O2 Czech Republic and CETIN – a process that ran until 13 July 2015. The firm, which acquired a majority stake in O2 Czech Republic in January 2014 from Spain’s Telefonica for CZK63.6 billion (USD2.59 billion), offered CZK78 and CZK176 per share for O2 Czech Republic and CETIN respectively. In an interview at the time, PPF chief financial officer Katerina Jiraskova suggested that the group’s strategy vis-a-vis the telco was still under discussion, but did confirm the long term goal ‘to squeeze out minority shareholders of CETIN and integrate the firm into PPF’.