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Etisalat Explores Potential Partnership with PPF Group to Expand in Central and Southeast Europe

Etisalat, the largest telecommunications group company in the UAE and listed on the Abu Dhabi Exchange (ADX), has revealed that it is engaged in discussions with PPF Group, a Czech investment company, to explore potential partnership opportunities in the Central and Southeast European markets. The objective of this collaboration is to establish a strategic alliance that would benefit both companies.

In a concise statement released to the ADX, Karim Bennis, the Chief Financial Officer of Etisalat, confirmed that they are currently in the early stages of discussions regarding a potential partnership. The focus of this collaboration would be on exploring mutually advantageous strategic opportunities in Central and Southeast Europe, excluding the Czech Republic.

Bennis further elaborated on PPF Group, describing it as a diversified international investment company with operations in the Czech Republic, as well as twenty-five other countries across Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa. PPF Group is primarily involved in financial services, telecommunications, media, and e-commerce. In addition, it has interests in real estate, biotechnology, and transportation products and services.

Bennis emphasized that any developments or progress in the discussions with PPF Group will be promptly communicated to the market by Etisalat.

With approximately $43.7 billion in assets, PPF Group, majority-owned by the Kellner family, has been actively pursuing corporate deals. One notable transaction involved PPF acquiring a 9.1% stake in Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1, becoming the second-largest investor in the company after Italy’s MFE – MediaforEurope.

Etisalat, a leading digital transformation services provider, was established in 1976 and is headquartered in Abu Dhabi. Etisalat has been expanding its global presence and has recently been involved in several acquisitions.

In December of the previous year, Etisalat invested $100 million for a 10% stake in Bespin Global, a South Korean cloud management company.  Etisalat also announced a significant equity investment in Bespin Global, which would facilitate the expansion of Bespin Global’s presence in regions such as Korea, the United States, Southeast Asia, Japan, and the Greater China region.

Furthermore, Etisalat entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Careem’s Super App for $400 million on April 10 of this year. This move was aimed at enhancing Etisalat’s consumer digital offerings.

Etisalat has also increased its stake in Vodafone Group from 9.8% in May to 11% in December of the previous year. Subsequently, Etisalat further raised its stake to 14.6% as part of its efforts to consolidate its shareholding in the British company and support its international expansion plans.

Having undergone a rebranding in February 2022, with the name change from Etisalat to e&, the company has actively sought to expand its investment portfolio. As part of this strategy, e& launched a $250 million venture capital fund to provide support to tech start-ups.

Etisalat’s pursuit of a potential partnership with PPF Group underscores its proactive approach to expanding its global reach and investment activities. As a prominent player in the telecommunications industry, Etisalat aims to leverage strategic collaborations to fuel its growth and strengthen its position in key markets. The discussions with PPF Group in the Central and Southeast European regions demonstrate Etisalat’s commitment to exploring new opportunities and capitalizing on synergies with established players. With a track record of successful acquisitions and ventures, Etisalat’s focus on digital transformation and its venture capital fund highlight its dedication to driving innovation and supporting the growth of tech start-ups.

In summary, Etisalat’s latest announcement regarding its potential partnership with PPF Group in the Central and Southeast European markets reflects its ongoing commitment to expanding its global presence and investment portfolio. With a focus on strategic collaboration, Etisalat aims to capitalize on mutually beneficial opportunities, reinforcing its position as a leading digital transformation services provider in the telecommunications industry.

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