By Tim Gosling of bne
PPF Group has sealed a deal to buy a majority stake in the Czech Republic’s largest mobile operator Telefonica CR from the Spanish telecommunications group. The November 5 agreement could put a dent in the Czech regulator’s hopes of encouraging greater competition on the market; it might also herald a new chapter in the emerging markets telecoms business, suggest analysts.
Petr Kellner is the Czech Republic’s richest man and this week’s deal that has Italy’s Generali paying €2.5bn to buy out the 49 per cent of an insurance joint venture with Kellner’s PPF that it does not already own will make him even wealthier.
The deal gives Generali full control over the joint venture that has seen rapid growth since it was formed in 2007.
Czech investment firm PPF has never seen eye-to-eye with Oleg Deripaska – its co-investor in Russian insurance group Ingosstrakh. The two sides have now been embroiled in conflict since PPF became a shareholder in the group in 2007, with Deripaska arguing that PPF’s purchase of 38.5 per cent of the company – without Deripaska’s prior approval – had ended up hurting the value of the oligarch’s own stake.
Now it seems that a solution to their problems could be close at hand.