French telecoms group Iliad plans to buy Polish Play in $ 4.15 billion deal

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FILE PHOTO: Guests wait before French telecommunications operator Iliad attends the press conference in Milan, Italy on May 29, 2018. REUTERS / Stefano Rellandini

PARIS (Reuters) – Iliad ILD.PA plans to acquire Polish mobile operator Play PLY.WA in a 3.5 billion euros ($ 4.15 billion) deal, the French telecommunications group said on Monday, adding that it had reached an agreement to buy 40% of the company’s capital from key shareholders .

Iliad said in a statement that it would launch a public offering at 39 zlotys per share, a premium of 38.8% over the closing price of the Play share, valuing the Polish company at 2.2 billion euros. ($ 2.61 billion).

By adding Play’s 15 million subscribers, the combined group would benefit from a solid base of 41 million subscribers in France, Poland and Italy.

Iliad said the deal is in the best interests of its shareholders as it represents a unique opportunity to enter a major market that is still growing.

He said the deal would pay off in the first year and said the acquisition would be funded by debt and cash.

Report by Geert De Clercq; Edited by Kim Coghill and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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