Having 41 million subscribers in three of Europe’s largest telecom markets – France, Poland and Italy, Iliad announced its intention to acquire the Polish telecom operator Play for around €2.2bn.
Iliad and Play share a similar success story as the most recent entrants in the mobile market of the three major European countries.
Iliad, the French provider of telecommunication services, signed a binding agreement to purchase a 40% controlling interest from Play’s two reference shareholders for the same price, meaning the step would give the telco a large portion of the decision-making.
Through this acquisition, Iliad will cement its position as a pan-European telecom player and says that, “Its expertise and experience will help Play grow in the mobile market and facilitate its entry into the fixed market. Iliad will also help accelerate the digital distribution of Play’s offerings. All of these developments will be carried out drawing on the skills of Play’s management teams.”
While the deal allows Iliad to maintain its financial and strategic flexibility, it remains subject to obtaining clearance from the relevant regulatory authorities.
With 38 million inhabitants, Poland is central Europe’s largest market, therefore, the acquisition represents a unique opportunity for Iliad to grow and enter the Polish telecom market.
Thomas Reynaud, Iliad’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “This excellent alliance constitutes a new growth driver for the Iliad Group and gives it access to one of Europe’s high-potential telecom markets. Pooling the expertise of Play’s and Iliad’s teams will reinforce the Iliad Group’s fundamentals through a combination of growth and innovation. The transaction will make Iliad the sixth-largest telecom operator in Europe. Fully committed to implementing its Odyssey 2024 Plan, Iliad is a solid group that is pursuing its expansion with confidence.”
Jean Marc Harion, the Chairman of Play’s Management Board, said: “This alliance with the Iliad Group marks an important chapter in Play’s history, as it will accelerate its business development in fixed services. Play and Iliad share the same values and overall corporate vision. Our Board of Directors has unanimously approved the deal, firmly convinced of its strategic fit and value creation potential for Play’s shareholders.”