French telecoms group Iliad plans to buy Poland's Play in $4.15 bln deal

Credit: REUTERS/STEFANO RELLANDINI

Iliad plans to acquire Polish mobile phone operator Play in a 3.5 billion euros ($4.15 billion) deal, the French telecoms group said on Monday, adding that it has secured a deal to buy 40% of the firm's capital from key shareholders.

PARIS, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Iliad ILD.PA plans to acquire Polish mobile phone operator Play PLY.WA in a 3.5 billion euros ($4.15 billion) deal, the French telecoms group said on Monday, adding that it has secured a deal to buy 40% of the firm's capital from key shareholders.

Iliad said in a statement it would launch a public offer at 39 zlotys per share, a 38.8% premium to Play stock's closing price, valuing the Polish company at 2.2 billion euros ($2.61 billion).

Adding Play's 15 million subscribers, the combined group would enjoy a strong base of 41 million subscribers in France, Poland and Italy.

Iliad said the deal was in the interest of its shareholders as it represents a unique opportunity to enter a major market that is still growing.

It said the deal will be earnings-accretive from the first year itself and said the acquisition will be financed by debt and cash.

($1 = 3.7556 zlotys)

($1 = 0.8429 euros)

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Kim Coghill and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

((geert.declercq@tr.com; +33 1 4949 5343; Reuters Messaging: Twitter: @gvdeclercq))

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