Iliad makes €2.2BN Play bid | Major Businesses | Business
By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our privacy policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. [Close]
In a move that could shake up the telecoms markets not only in their home territories but also Italy, the parent company of French operator Free, Iliad Group has launched a public tender offer for leading Polish mobile provider Play.
PLay 21Sep2020
The offer represents a total of around €2.2 billion for 100% of the share capital of Play meaning an enterprise value of c. €3.5 billion. Iliad has also signed a binding agreement to purchase a 40% controlling interest from Play’s two reference shareholders for the same unit price which will give it the majority of seats on Play’s board of directors.

Setting out its rationale for acquisition, Iliad claimed that Play had seen “exceptional” growth over the past 15 years. It is the most recent entrant in the Polish mobile telephony market, and currently it has 15 million subscribers and a 29% market share, making it the leading mobile telephony operator in Poland. Play currently employs some 2,800 people.

Iliad regards Play and itself as having a lot in common, noting they had both been have both been “game-changers” in their respective markets, opening up mobile usages by proposing offerings accessible to everyone. It added that both groups have powerful brands that are highly respected in their countries and convey the values of innovation, simplicity and value for money. Iliad sees its expertise and experience as being able to help Play grow in the mobile market and facilitate its entry into the fixed market. The French firm added that it would also help accelerate the digital distribution of Play’s offerings.

Over the last 12 months, Play has generated €1.6 billion in revenues, up 2.0% year-on-year at constant exchange rates, and €523 million in EBITDA. The company boasts 15 million subscribers at present.

The deal remains subject to obtaining clearance from the relevant regulatory authorities and notification of the planned acquisition will be submitted to the European Commission.