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Polish businessman Zygmunt Solorz-Zak has signed a deal to buy Polish mobile operator Polkomtel SA for 15.1 billion zlotys ($5.43 billion), three Polkomtel shareholders said in separate statements late Thursday.
Solorz-Zak was competing for the company, one of three major mobile phone operators in Poland, with private equity firm Apax and Norway's Telenor ASA (TEL.OS), according to people familiar with the matter, and securing the deal significantly expands his media and communications empire.
According to enterprise value, which includes Polkomtel's debt and the dividend it will pay out to its shareholders, the transaction was worth PLN18.1 billion, said KGHM Polska Miedz SA (KGH.WA), PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA (PPOLF) and PKN Orlen SA (PKN.WA).
The sale of Vodafone Group PLC's (VOD) 24.39% stake in Polkomtel completes the mobile giant's year-long campaign of shedding minority holdings, leaving Chief Executive Vittorio Colao free to focus on how to make the most of surging demand for mobile data and from the company's vast operations across Europe, India and Africa.
Polkomtel's other shareholders include oil refiner PKN Orlen and copper mining company KGHM, which both own 24.39%, as well as Poland's largest power group PGE, which holds a 21.85% stake. The Polish Treasury holds stakes in the three owners of 27.52%, 31.79% and 69.29%, respectively.
The remaining shareholder is Polish coal mining company Weglokoks SA, which is wholly owned by the Polish Treasury and holds a 4.98% stake.
-By Marynia Kruk, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 207 842 9290; firstname.lastname@example.org