Cosmote acquires Zapp

OSMOTE Group signed in Bucharest an agreement for the acquisition of Telemobil, which administrates the mobile telecommunication network Zapp. The share purchase agreement was signed by Michael Tsamaz, Cosmote CEO, and on behalf of the seller, a member of the Saudi Oger Group, by Nadim Akkawi, Corporate Finance Director.
The consideration for the shares of Zapp is estimated at approximately 61 mil euros (equity value), while Cosmote will also assume the debt and other liabilities of Zapp, mainly concerning 3G and CDMA network roll out, estimated at approximately 146 mil euros.

The deal is therefore estimated at 200 million euros.

Citigroup Global Markets Limited (CITI) and N M Rothschild and Sons Limited acted as Cosmote’s financial advisors for the transaction.

Cosmote CEO, Michael Tsamaz (photo), commented: “The deal signed today marks a new cycle of growth and expanded customer base for Cosmote Romania since the 3G and CDMA licenses as well as infrastructure allow the company to offer cutting-edge data and voice services in Romania. In one of the most competitive markets in Europe, and in only 3.5 years of operations, Cosmote Romania’s impressive track-record proves that the company is in a position to fully capture the benefits from our new investment”.

Zapp is the oldest mobile operator in the Romanian market. The company launched commercial operations in 1993. Today, it holds a CDMA license in the 450 MHz band and a 3G license at 2100 MHz. Its 3G network currently covers 23 Romanian cities. In 2008 Zapp’s revenues amounted to 61 mil euros while its customer base exceeded 374,000 post paid customers.

The acquisition is subject, among other conditions, to the approval of relevant Romanian authorities.

Zapp representatives say they are satisfied with the results of the acquisition deal with Cosmote, deeming it as a win-win transaction.

“This transaction comes after a period of major investments in the network infrastructure, which included enhancement of the coverage area and together with China Development Bank and ZTE Corporation we launched new services. Incorporating the high-speed mobile internet services by Zapp to Cosmote’s array of products will be highly advantageous to both companies and to their customer base”, Nadim Akkaoui continued.

Cosmote started operations in the mobile telecommunication industry in 2005 by the acquisition of Cosmorom. The carrier reported earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortization of around 13 mln euros for the first quarter of the year and an increase in customer base by 44% year-on-year.

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