The British telecommunications giant Vodafone agreed to sell 100 per cent of its local subsidiary Vodafone Hungary to two Hungarian companies on Monday, 9 January. According to the agreement signed after a thorough audit of the company, the publicly traded 4iG Nyrt. will be the majority stakeholder with a 51 per cent ownership in the company through its own subsidiary Antenna Hungária Zrt.; while the state-owned Corvinus Nemzetközi Befektetési Zrt. will have control of the remaining 49 per cent equity.
The parties valued Vodafone Hungary at 660 billion HUF. That is more than seven times its income before taxes and other non-operating expenditures, as of its latest figures from its fiscal year ending on 31 March 2022. According to estimations by industry insiders, the deal, which is one of the largest in Hungarian telecommunications history, is set to be finalized by January 31. The world-famous investment bank J.P. Morgan SE served as a financial advisor for 4iG during the negotiations and the preparation of the funds required.
Gellért Jászai, president of 4iG Nyrt., pointed out in a statement that this is a historic deal, as, for the first time in almost 30 years, a corporate group that is owned by a Hungarian majority will be able to offer converged network services in the country. With the transaction, 4iG and Corvinus will also acquire the mobile frequencies, the active antennas and cables, as well as other high-value telecommunications technology assets owned by the recently sold company. Vodafone Hungary currently has around 3 million customers in Hungary for its mobile services, and around 800,000 customers for its cable internet and landline phone services.
Interestingly enough, the stock price of 4IG actually fell on the Budapest Stock Exchange after the news of the Vodafone acquisition broke yesterday.