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PPF sells 30% stake in Cetin to Singapore’s GIC

Czech investment group PPF agreed to sell a 30% stake in telecommunications infrastructure group CETIN to Singapore’s GIC investment fund, PPF said on Monday.

CETIN operates in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Hungary and Serbia. PPF had said earlier this year it was studying options for the group, including a potential initial public offering or direct sale to a minority investor.

Bloomberg news agency reported in March a deal could value the group at 6.7 billion euros ($7.76 billion).

The companies did not disclose financial details of the agreed deal announced on Monday, which is subject to regulatory approvals. PPF will retain the remaining 70% stake, it said in a joint statement, and GIC will be represented on the company’s board.

“As a long-term investor, we are confident that the digital infrastructure sector will continue to grow robustly and CETIN, as the leading telecom platform in Central Eastern Europe, is well positioned to capitalise on that growth,” said Ang Eng Seng, GIC’s chief investment officer of infrastructure.

CETIN grew out of a 2015 spin-off from Czech telecoms group O2 Czech Republic, which PPF majority owns, and Telenor branded operators in the other markets.

It is the largest telecom infrastructure provider in the Czech market and second largest in the Hungarian, Bulgarian and Serbian markets. It operates 69,700 km (43,310 miles) of optical cables, according to its website.

CETIN Group posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 297 million euros in the first half of 2021, a year-on-year rise of 86%. Reuters

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