Romania approves takeover of 50% of Netcity Telecom by Meridiam

Late last week, Romania’s competition authority said it approved the takeover of 50 percent interest in local companies Netcity Telecom and Concesiune Telecom from E-INFRA Holding by French global investor and asset manager Meridiam.  

Netcity Telecom is responsible for operating Bucharest’s 1,760 km long underground fiber-optic network. Its endeavors include designing, building, and managing the channel network for the entire Bucharest area by enhancing the city’s visual appearance and safety via the migration of aerial cable networks. 

“Following a review of the transaction, the Competition Council has found that it does not raise significant obstacles to effective competition in the market, in particular by establishing or strengthening of a dominant position,” the anti-trust body said in a statement.  

On his side, Matthieu Muzumdar, Meridiam Chief Operating Officer in Europe, said, “We are excited about this innovative partnership, which is also our very first investment in Romania. This project will enable to attract investments in the global digital industry in Bucharest and ensure the development of city-based solutions to increase the quality of life in the Capital City.”  

As for Concesiune Telecom, the operator does not carry out operations; however, its purpose is to ensure guarantees for the execution of the concession agreement concluded with the Bucharest municipality in order to develop the Netcity network.  

In December, Meridiam announced the acquisition of a co-controlling stake in the two companies from E-INFRA to accelerate the development of the fiber optics network in Bucharest.  

“This project will help attract investments by the global digital industry in Bucharest,” Muzumdar said at the time.  

Netcity Telecom and Concesiune Telecom are now 50 percent owned by Romanian internet service and infrastructure provider Direct One – part of the E-INFRA Holding alongside Electrogrup SA, Electrogrup Inc., and natural gas and electricity producer, provider and distributor Nova Power & Gas S.R.L.