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United Group to integrate Forthnet as telco increases stake in Greek operator

Greek pay TV operator Forthnet has become a part of former United Group.

Based in the former Yugoslavia, United Group brands itself as an alternative telco in Southeast Europe and has two main business segments across telecommunications and media (content and advertising).

Forthnet meanwhile is a provider of home entertainment and communications services in Greece with nearly 1.4 million customers.

The BC Partners-owned United Group first announced that it was acquiring 36% of Forthnet in June, but is now upping its stake to 80%. It said that it will increase this by a further 5% by the end of the year after it completes the conversion of the Forthnet convertible date it holds.

Greek tender offer rules state that United Group has triggered the minimum mandatory tender offer requirements and is expected to launch a Mandatory Tender Offer (MTO), which should be completed in Q1 2021. The deal also comes on the condition that if United Group acquires at least 90% of the ordinary shares of Forthnet at the completion of the MTO, it will eventually acquire a 100% stake in the company.

Victoriya Boklag, CEO of United Group, said: “I’m pleased to welcome our colleagues from Forthnet to the United Group family. We have ambitious plans for the company that will be implemented with the new management team. Forthnet’s Nova brand is well-established in Greece and we see a lot of potential for the business.

“We have the opportunity to bring to the Greek market more content and more options in entertainment and sports to drive growth in pay-TV services. We’re confident that by applying our expertise in areas such as content and technology, combined with our wider telco offering, we can deliver a top user experience and realize our goals for the business.”