Mid Europa Partners, a central and eastern Europe-focused private equity firm, has bought Austrian mobile company One with France Telecom. The deal, at €1.4 billion, is Austria’s biggest leveraged buyout in the industrial sector to date.
One has been bought from German energy company E.ON, which owned 50.1 percent, Norwegian telecoms company Telenor, which together with France Telecom owned 17.45 percent, and Danish telecoms company TDC, which owned 15 percent.
Mid Europa will own 65 percent of the company while France Telecom will own the other 35 percent.
One is Austria’s third biggest mobile operator with two million subscribers. The business generated €617 million of sales and €161 million of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in 2006.
Austria has become a more popular region for private equity investments. New York-based Cerberus Capital Management bought Austrian bank BAWAG PSK from the Austrian Trade Union Association in December for what was thought to be €2.6 billion.
Mid Europa has more than €1.1 billion under management with offices in London, Budapest and Warsaw. The deal is the firm’s sixth investment in central Europe’s mobile telecoms sector.