e&, the UAE’s biggest telecommunications group company listed on Abu Dhabi Exchange (ADX), on Monday said that it was in talks with PPF Group, the Czech investment company, to explore a “potential partnership” to make inroads in the Central and Southeast European markets.
In a brief statement to the ADX where the company’s shares are traded, e& Group’s Chief Financial Officer Karim Bennis said that they were in early stage of discussions of forming a potential partnership to explore strategic collaboration opportunities in central and southeastern Europe (excluding Czech Republic) that are mutually beneficial to both groups.
Bennis further said that PPF Group is a diverse international investment company with operations in the Czech Republic and twenty-five additional countries across Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa.
“Core lines of business are financial services, telecommunications, media, and e- commerce. The Group is also active in real estate, biotechnology, and transportation products and services,” Bennis said.
He also said that the company will keep the market updated should there be any developments in its talks with the PPF in the coming days.
PPF, which has about $43.7 billion in assets, is majority-owned by the Kellner family, has pressed forward with corporate deals. PPF acquired 9.1% stake in Germany’s ProSiebensat.1, becoming its second largest investor behind Italy’s MFE – MediaforEurope.
Launched in 1976, e& Enterprise is a leading digital transformation services provider based in Abu Dhabi, operating in 16 countries across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
It may be recalled that e& is expanding its presence globally and has been on an acquisition spree in last few months.
The company invested $100 million for a 10% stake in South Korea’s cloud management company Bespin Global in December last year. As a part of the investment structure, e& Enterprise and Bespin Global will form a joint venture to provide cloud managed and professional services to the customers in the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan.
Additionally, e& announced that it will make a significant equity investment in Bespin Global, which will accelerate Bespin Global’s investment in other regions including Korea, the US, Southeast Asia, Japan, and the Greater China region.
The company also signed an agreement with Careem’s Super App for $400 million to acquire a majority stake on April 10 this year as part of efforts to expand its consumer digital offerings.
e& further increased its stake in Vodafone Group from 9.8% in May to 11% in December last year and subsequently increased it to 14.6% to consolidate its shareholding in the British company as part of its international expansion plans.
Previously known as Etisalat, e& rebranded in February 2022, and has sought to increase its investment portfolio off the back of this. The company also launched a $250 million venture capital fund to support tech start-ups.