* Buys leading cable operator Blizoo from Sweden's EQT
* Blizoo has 10 mln euros annual sales, 63,000 subscribers
* Deal expected to close in Q3
(Releads with details of acquisition)
VIENNA, June 23 Telekom Austria has
signed a deal to buy Macedonian cable operator Blizoo, a company
with about 10 million euros ($14 million) in annual revenues and
63,000 subscribers, from Swedish private equity firm EQT, it
said on Monday.
The acquisition will allow it to offer fixed-line broadband
and television services bundled with its current mobile
offering, helping it retain and attract customers.
Macedonia will become the fourth of the eight central and
eastern European countries where Telekom Austria operates to
offer so-called convergent fixed and mobile services after
Austria, Bulgaria and Croatia.
"It is important for us that we create these chances for the
whole group," Telekom Austria Chief Executive Hannes Ametsreiter
told a news conference.
The two parties declined to disclose the purchase price but
Ametsreiter said it was in the double-digit millions of euros.
He added that Telekom Austria would finance the acquisition out
of existing cash flow. The company said Blizoo was profitable.
Carlos Slim's America Movil has said it plans to
use Telekom Austria, which it is taking over, as a base to build
up its presence in eastern Europe.
Its $2 billion offer for the 45 percent of Telekom Austria
not already owned by itself or the Austrian state ends on July
Ametsreiter declined to say whether further acquisitions in
the central and eastern European region were in the pipeline.
"We look at all opportunities in the region," he said.
Macedonia is Telekom Austria's second-smallest market, with
630,000 subscribers, 65 million euros revenue and 15 million
euros core profit in 2013. It has a market share of 28 percent.
Blizoo says it is Macedonia's largest pure-play cable
operator by revenues and number of homes reached. Its biggest
competitor is Deutsche Telekom, which has three times
as many broadband subscribers.
The deal is subject to approval by competition regulators
and is expected to close in the third quarter.
($1 = 0.7366 Euros)
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; editing by Jason Neely and