Simobil Eyeing T2 and Tušmobil
Simobil, Slovenia's no. 2 mobile operator, is interested in a tie-up with or full acquisition of domestic rivals. T-2 and Tušmobil are the potential targets and talks are under way, Simobil chairman Dejan Turk told the press on Thursday.
"We're interested in very long-term partnerships. The most long-term option is to...carry out an acquisition, though acquisitions sometimes begin with strategic partnerships," Turk said.
Simobil has been in talks with both T-2 and Tušmobil before, but Turk noted that the situation has changed since. Most notably, T-2 has got new owners, with whom it may be "easier to find a common language, especially on financial expectations".
Asked whether concrete steps could be expected this year, Turk said the talks were ongoing but no solution was in sight yet.
However, T-2 responded to Turk's statements with surprise, saying that no talks were currently underway on new ownership ties with Simobil or any other company.
T-2 assessed cooperation with Simobil in the area of mobile telephony - T-2 uses Simobil's network to offer its mobile services - as successful.
It added that the main goal of the company which launched court-mandated debt restructuring last year was "long-term stabilisation".
Tušmobil also rejected being in talks on a takeover by Simobil, saying that as an "operator with great potential, which registered the biggest growth among mobile operators last year, its acquisition was the stuff of dreams of many companies".
Simobil had just under 30% of the mobile telephony market in the final quarter of the year, according to the quarterly report of the Agency for Post and Electronic Communication, Tušmobil had 11.2% and T-2 2.4%.
However, T-2 is strong in fixed broadband internet access (17.4% of the market), where it is the runner-up behind Telekom Slovenije, with Tušmobil at just under 2%. Simobil is not present on this market.
Simobil also announced today it would expand coverage of its fourth-generation LTE network to half of the capital Ljubljana by the end of April.
Last year it became the first LTE operator with a limited rollout in Ljubljana, Brnik and Bled, to overtake market leader Telekom.