KKR's first direct investment in Central and Eastern Europe
BELGRADE, Serbia & LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
KKR, a leading global investment firm, today announces that it has
completed the acquisition of United Group (SBB/Telemach), the leading
cable and pay TV operator in South Eastern Europe.
KKR signed a definitive agreement to acquire United Group from Mid
Europa Partners on 15 October 2013. This transaction was subject to
customary regulatory approvals, all of which have now been granted.
The closing of the transaction by which the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development ("EBRD") invests €50 million alongside
funds affiliated with KKR also takes place today.
Operating under the SBB and Telemach brands, United Group serves 1.89
million customers across the six markets of former Yugoslavia with a
combined population of over 20 million.
"Following the closing of the transaction, we are now ready to
accelerate our plans for the region, providing a wide range of high
quality services at affordable prices to the citizens. With the support
of such international investors as KKR and EBRD, we will continue to
operate according to strict European standards and regulations," said
Dragan Šolak, Founder and Executive Chairman of the United Group.
Henrik Kraft, Member of KKR and head of KKR's telecoms and technology
team in Europe, said: "This is KKR's first direct investment in Central
and Eastern Europe and is a clear sign of our confidence in the
prospects of the United Group, led by Dragan and his talented team, and
- Ends -
Founded in 1976 and led by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, KKR is a
leading global investment firm with $94.3 billion in assets under
management as of December 31, 2013. With offices around the world, KKR
manages assets through a variety of investment funds and accounts
covering multiple asset classes. KKR seeks to create value by
bringing operational expertise to its portfolio companies and through
active oversight and monitoring of its investments. KKR & Co.
L.P. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: KKR) and
"KKR", as used in this release, includes its subsidiaries, their managed
investment funds and accounts, and/or their affiliated investment
vehicles, as appropriate.
The EBRD, owned by 64 countries and two intergovernmental
institutions, supports the development of market economies and
democracies in central Europe, central Asia and the southern and eastern
Mediterranean. In Serbia alone, the EBRD has invested €3.5 billion in
175 projects to date. The Bank's investments cover industry, commerce,
agribusiness, energy as well as the financial and infrastructure sectors.
About United Group
United Group (SBB/Telemach), through its member companies, operates
across the six markets of former Yugoslavia - Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia
and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and Macedonia - where it has 1.89
million cable and satellite TV, broadband, fixed and mobile customers
With a population of over 20 million, the former Yugoslav region
represents the third largest Central Eastern European market and is
characterized by rapidly growing pay-TV and broadband markets. United
Group consists of SBB (the leading cable operator in Serbia), Telemach
Slovenia (the leading cable operator in Slovenia), Telemach Bosnia and
Herzegovina (the leading cable operator in Bosnia and Herzegovina),
Total TV (the leading DTH platform in the region for satellite
television), Total TV International (a Europe-wide DTH platform), and
NetTV Plus (a leading provider of telecom services over the internet).
The Group also provides services using a number of ancillary brands
resulting from its growth across the region: Absolut OK, KDS NS, Jet TV,
Beogrid, Telekabel, VI-NET and ArtNet.
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