Telenor has won the auction in Serbia for mobile operator Mobi 63, one of two mobile operations in Serbia.
The winning bid of EUR 1,513 million, which beat Telekom Austria Group (see previous story), is said to have secured a 100 per cent share of Mobi 63, along with a 10 year licence for GSM 900/1800 and 3G operation for the company, which is renewable for a successive 10 year period on application.
“We are naturally excited at expanding our footprint and adding this new company to the Telenor Group. Serbia has long been an interesting market for us. Telenor first entered the Balkan region more than 10 years ago and we currently have mobile operations in a number of neighbouring countries. The acquisition of Mobi 63 will allow us to further our aim of creating a strong Telenor operational hub in this prioritised geographical area with long-term synergies across the companies,” said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO, Telenor.
The population of Serbia is approximately 7.5 million. GDP per capita in 2005 was estimated at USD 3 420. GDP growth in 2005 was 6.2 per cent in USD. There are currently two mobile operators in the country and according to Telenor estimates the current penetration is 65%.
At the end of 2005, Mobi 63 had a reported customer base of approximately 2.5 million, an active customer base of around 2.1 million and a market share of approximately 45 per cent. Reported network coverage is approximately 90% of the territory and over 95% of total population.
According to Telenor, estimated revenues for 2005 were around EUR 233 million with an EBITDA margin of about 53%. EBIT for 2005 was around EUR 96 million and CAPEX for 2005 was EUR 44 million. Mobi 63 is debt free. The company has around 950 employees.
Telenor reckons there is high demand for both advanced and innovative services and for basic affordable mobile communication, and the company will utilize the experience from the Telenor Group as well as local Serbian expertise to enhance the company’s performance and secure the best possible mobile services for the Serbian market.