Saudi STC Group reportedly eyes purchase of United Group

Saudi STC Group reportedly eyes purchase of United Group
/ Christoph Meinersmann via Pixabay
By bne IntelliNews June 4, 2024

Saudi Arabia's STC Group understood to be considering filing an offer for the acquisition of United Group, Reuters reported, quoting three sources.

United Group owns several telecommunications and pay-TV channels in Bulgaria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.

According to Reuters, possible deal could value United Group around €8bn including debt, but sources added that the deal is not certain and might not happen.

Neither STC nor United Group have officially commented on a possible deal.

In 2023, STC’s subsidiary TAWAL acquired United Group’s telecommunications tower assets in Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia.

Meanwhile, United Group said on June 4 it has continued bundling its EU-based fixed infrastructure asset portfolio under the United Fiber brand, which was established in 2021 in Greece.

“Beginning with the registration of the newly established company in Slovenia in March 2024, which will be followed by Bulgaria and Croatia by the end of this year, the Group is focused on further accelerating and strengthening its investments in this important geolocation,” the company said in a press release on its website.

It added that the move was in response to market demand for modern broadband infrastructure connecting Europe with Middle East and Asia.

“At United Group we know how to build and roll out state-of-the-art fixed infrastructure. In 2000 we started fully greenfield in Serbia and two decades later we became the largest optical network in Southeast Europe. In the four EU countries Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia alone, United Group owns 60.000 km of backbone and metro network,” Zeljko Batistic, United Group’s vice president in charge of technology, said in the press release.

The company’s broadband network reaches 3.6mn households in SEE and the company aims to increase that number by nearly half a million new households by the end of this year.