Home News Euractiv: Hungary owns the de facto majority of Albania’s telecommunications sector

Euractiv: Hungary owns the de facto majority of Albania’s telecommunications sector

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The Hungarian company 4iG acquired a little over 80% of the shares of ALBtelecom at the beginning of March, after the competition authority approved it in January. Also in March, 4iG completed a 99.889% acquisition of ONE Telecommunications. This means that 4iG now owns almost the entire Albanian mobile and fixed-mobile communications sector, writes euractiv.com

The CEO of 4iG is Gellert Jaszai, a close associate of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Now, 4iG has transferred its shares to Antenna Hungaria in the form of a capital increase contribution. The value of the transaction is estimated at about 350 million euros. This means that 4iG increased its stake in Antenna to 76.78% of the company, while the Hungarian state kept the rest, thus partially owning the two main telecommunications companies in Albania.

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This transaction created the second largest telecommunications group in Hungary, with a significant portfolio of fixed, internet and television services, as well as fixed and mobile services in the region and the Western Balkans, Monitor.al reported.

Jászai said that the acquisitions made in the last year have completed the process of transforming 4iG from an IT systems company into an international communications intelligence group.

“In the future, we will seek to take advantage of the synergies and collaborations between our companies and continue to explore acquisition opportunities to increase the Group’s market share,” said 4iG CEO. “In 2022, we are trying to enter the B2C segment with telecommunications services under one name and a new strategy, not only in Hungary but also in the Western Balkans region,” he added.

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During Orban’s rule, Hungary experienced a significant decline in its relations with the EU and is now subject to various rule-of-law proceedings. The country and Orban have also been criticized for not taking a hard line on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and for having a close relationship with President Vladimir Putin.

Putin recently called Orban to congratulate him on his recent election victory.

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