Recently, Monaco Telecom made an acquisition agreement with Vodafone Malta for 250 million euros. According to a statement by Vodafone Malta, the transaction is subject to regulatory approval from the Malta Communications Authority, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.
The agreement amount, which will be financed by a loan, will make Vodafone Malta the second operator in the Mediterranean to be run by Monaco Telecom and will strengthen Xavier Niel’spresence in the telecoms sector. This new acquisition of the telephone operator by Niel, via his holding company NJJ, is in addition to other takeover operations carried out in recent years.
In 2014, the boss of Free, via NJJ, acquired 55% of Monaco Telecom (the remaining 45% is owned by the Monegasque government). Monaco Telecom then bought its first mobile operator, MTN Cyprus, on 31 August 2018, for 320 million euros. Besides Monaco Telecom, MTN Cyprus (now Epic) and Vodafone Malta, the businessman owns Orange Switzerland (now Salt), and has taken control of the operator Eir in Ireland and Free in Senegal.
Vodafone Malta, a subsidiary of one of the world’s telecom leaders, is the second largest operator in the country after Go, and is number 1 in the mobile market, with 41% market share.
If previous acquisitions are anything to go by, the Vodafone Malta deal should have a positive outcome as Monaco Telecom’s dealings with Epic have yielded successful results. Back in August 2018, Monaco Telecom finalized the purchase of 100% of the capital of MTN Cyprus, renamed Epic. With 42% of the mobile market, Epic is the second largest telephone operator in the country. The telecom operator is now experiencing the strongest growth in Cyprus, with more than 400,000 customers and a turnover of 123 million euros in 2017.