Iliad planning Play takeover

French telecommunications services provider Iliad has announced the launch of a public tender offer to acquire Poland-headquartered peer Play.

Under the terms of the transaction, the buyer will pay PLN 39.00 (EUR 8.71) per share for the business, thereby valuing the takeover at EUR 2.20 billion and giving the target an enterprise value of EUR 3.50 billion.

The approach represents a 38.8 per cent premium over the target’s close of PLN 28.10 on 18th September, the last trading day prior to the deal being announced.

The subscription period for the deal, which is to be financed using debt and cash on hand, is scheduled to run from 19th October until 17th November.

As a consequence of the purchase, Iliad will have a representative on the majority of Play’s board seats.

Completion remains subject to the green light from regulators.

Iliad believes Play will be a perfect strategic fit with the company, saying the pair have complementary operations and highlighting the target’s growth over the last 15 years, as well as its profitability, as factors which attracted it.

Furthermore, the buyer will be able to establish itself in Poland as a consequence, while generating value for shareholders and cementing its position as a pan-European telecoms player.

In fact, Iliad chief executive Thomas Reynaud said the acquisition will see the firm become the sixth-largest telecom operator in Europe.

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Play claims to be the biggest mobile network in Poland, with a subscriber base numbering 15.00 million.

It offers mobile voice, messaging, data and video services for consumers and businesses on a contract and prepaid basis and its services are available to 99.0 per cent of the population of its home country.

Operating revenue for the first six months of 2020 stood at PLN 3.50 billion, up from PLN 3.44 billion over the corresponding timeframe of last year.

The largest telecommunciations deal to have been announced so far this year is the GBP 31.40 billion merger of Virgin Media and o2, which was announced in May and is slated to close in 2021.

© Zephus Ltd

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