William Malcolm

PPF Sells 30% Stake In CETIN To Singapore’s GIC

PPF Group sells a 30% stake in the CETIN Group network operator to the GIC investment fund headquartered in Singapore. PPF will retain a 70 percent majority in the CETIN Group. PPF stated this on the web . The settlement of the transaction is subject to the approval of the relevant regulatory authorities. The parties to the transaction have agreed not to disclose details of its financial side. The new minority owner will receive adequate representation on the Board of Directors of CETIN Group.

“As a long-term investor, we believe that the digital infrastructure sector will continue to grow significantly. CETIN, as the leading telecommunications platform in Central and Eastern Europe, is well placed to benefit from this growth,” said GIC Investment Director Ang Eng Seng. He added that the fund is determined to build a long-term partnership with the management of PPF and CETIN.

According to PPF, the transaction is an expression of the confidence of one of the world’s most important investors in the strategy to develop and operate large-scale fixed and mobile telecommunications networks and offer infrastructure as a service to operators in the retail market. The CEO of CETIN Group, Juraj Šedivý, expects that with the new partnership, new possibilities and opportunities for further growth will open up for the company.

CETIN was established in 2015 by separating the infrastructure from the telecommunications operator O2 Czech Republic. It has been operating as a group since 2020, when the infrastructure was separated from the operators operating under the Telenor brand in Bulgaria, Hungary and Serbia. PPF’s telecommunications portfolio has included them since 2018. Last year, members of the CETIN Group reported revenues totaling around 874 million euros, ie over 22 billion crowns, and a profit of 157 million euros, in terms of about four billion CZK. The Czech CETIN accounts for a profit of almost 2.5 billion crowns.

GIC is a global investment company founded in 1981. It has investments in more than 40 countries.

“In our opinion, the new strategic partner in the CETIN Group means that the chances of launching the company on the public market soon will almost decrease or almost disappear. This possibility has been speculated about for a long time,” said J&T banka analyst Milan Vaníček.

According to the founder of the Capitalinked.com server, Radim Dohnal, the transaction is proof that PPF sees this sector close to the top or is afraid of regulatory or tax interventions. “For such cases, it is advantageous to have a government fund from a prominent country by your side as one of 11 countries with an S&P rating of AAA. I do not know if the motive for PPF also needs to bring additional resources to Home Credit, but it is possible,” he said. ČTK.

GIC pursues a more conservative investment policy than its better-known sister government fund Temasek in Europe and is one of the most active government pension funds for investment. “It seems that the consolidation and streamlining of telecommunications assets is over. I think this is because Czech Radiocommunications belongs to a fund from the British Isles of Guernsey, CETIN from the Asian island of Singapore. Dohnal added.