PPF Group announced today that its company PPF Telco intends to purchase additional shares in the Czech Republic telecommunications company O2. According to the PPF, the goal is to acquire more than 90% of the shares of O2 CR and then initiate a forced transfer (so-called mandatory buy-back) of all other shareholders’ shares in this telecom operator to entities of the PPF group.
PPF Group, through PPF Telco and its agents, now owns 83.58% of the shares in O2 CR and the same share of the voting rights. A further increase in PPF Telco’s stake in the capital of O2 CR will occur using the so-called reverse acceleration book-building method, up to a maximum of CZK 264 per share. Today, O2 shares closed at 269 CZK per share on the Prague Stock Exchange.
PPF banka has been tasked with the accelerated repurchase process as the sole bookrunner. It will appeal only to qualified investors and will open quick redemption books with immediate effect. It is expected that information regarding prices and the total number of newly acquired shares will be announced immediately upon completion of these order books. It can be closed at any time based on the decision of PPF Telco or PPF banka. PPF Telco reserves the right to change the terms and timing of express refunds at any time.
If PPF Telco and its agents acquire more than 90% of the shares of O2 CR, the non-eligible shareholders will be able to sell their shares in the O2 CR to the PPF Group as part of a subsequent mandatory redemption offer in accordance with applicable rules.
According to PPF, the decision to introduce a quick buyback of O2 CR shares reflects the fact that the volume of deals traded on these securities on the Prague Stock Exchange is very low, hovering around CZK 9.3 million this year. Through accelerated purchases, PPF offers qualified investors the opportunity to sell their shares in O2 CR to PPF Telco at a time and in numbers that exceed the now usual trading volumes on the exchange. At the same time, Sellers will reserve the right to pay O2 CR dividend out of the 2020 profit and the corresponding amount to reduce the share premium. The right to pay this share of profits to small shareholders as part of the subsequent mandatory redemption will also be preserved.
PPF Telco already owns 100 percent of the largest telecommunications infrastructure owner CETIN. O2 provides telecommunications and Internet services in fixed and mobile networks to 5.97 million mobile customers and 855,000 Internet users. Last year, the company increased its consolidated net profit by 7.1 percent to 5.85 billion crowns. Revenue rose 2.6 percent to 39.77 billion crowns.
PPF Investment Group invests in a number of industries, from financial services to telecommunications, media, biotechnology, and real estate to engineering. In addition to the Czech Republic, PPF is present in 24 other countries on three continents – Europe, Asia and North America.
In addition to Cetin and O2, the group includes, among others, Home Credit, PPF banka, Air Bank, Benxy with the Zonky brand, Cetin, PPF Real Estate, biotechnology Sotio and Škoda Transportation.
Last year, the PPF group recorded a loss of 291 million euros (7.42 billion CZK), while the previous year it had a net profit of 1.005 billion euros (25.5 billion CZK). Last year, it fell into the red for the first time in its thirty-year history.
Source: Reuters, PPF, čtk