Telekom Srbija seeks pay-TV growth through M&A
November 5, 2018
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Telekom Srbija has announced the acquisition of Serbia’s second-ranked cable TV and broadband services provider which has more than 200,000 TV and Internet subscribers in 60 cities across the country.
Kopernikus Technology, which also provides Internet and fixed telephony services, has been majority-owned by Central European investment fund Abris Capital Partners since 2016. The operator disposes of a modern network infrastructure capable of providing advanced services to over 300,000 households.
In recent years, the company has invested in the digitalisation of its services and deployment of a fibre optical infrastructure. Kopernikus Technology has also managed to increase its subscriber base by 25 per cent over the past two years.
The acquisition will enable Telekom Srbija to increase its pay-TV user base by around 30 per cent, thus increasing its market share by 7 per cent.
According to the latest figures from Serbian regulator Ratel, there were 1.7 million pay-TV subscribers in Serbia at the end of June 2018. The market is dominated by SBB (owned by UK-based private equity fund BC Partners) with a 54 per cent market share, with Telekom Srbija lagging behind in second place with 25 per cent.
In June, Telekom Srbija general manager Predrag Culibrk revealed that the company was in negotiations with a number of local cable operators, adding that market consolidation is expected in the coming period.
The acquisition plans are seen as an attempt to establish Telekom Srbija as a regional leader in the telecommunications sector and expand activities to more profitable areas outside the core business.