O2 to take control of number two Polish web portal

Orange Poland has struck a deal to sell its Wirtualna Polska (Virtual Poland) web portal to O2 for PLN375 million (€90 million). 

O2 is acquiring the portal with finance provided by private equity group Innova Capital’s European Media Holding.

Orange said the sale was in line with its strategy of focusing on its core business. There was speculation earlier this year that the site might be acquired by pay TV provider Cyfrowy Polsat, which was denied by the operator.

Innova Capital’s Krzysztof Krawczyk said the combination of O2 and Wirtualna Polska would create the leading Polish web portal and that Innova Capital would look for further acquisition opportunities in this area.

After the merger O2 Poland and Wirtualna Polska will operate under the combined name Grupa Wirtualna Polska.

Wirtualna Polska CEO Grzegorz Tomasiak said the combination of the pair’s expertise would lead to the creation of new products and advertising opportunities and guarantee the dynamic development of the group.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter, subject to regulatory approval.

Wirtualna Polska has about 13 million users and is ranked as the country’s number two site after Onet.pl, which German media group Axel Springer last year acquired for PLN960 million.

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