Hutchison Drei completes acquisition of Tele2's Austrian unit

James Pearce
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Austrian operations go together like "a cup of coffee with a Sachertorte" claims Drei CEO after Hutch closes €95m deal

Hutchison Drei Austria has completed its takeover of Tele2’s Austrian subsidiary in deal worth €95 million, creating what it claims is Austria’s “largest alternative telecommunications provider” to incumbent A1 Telekom (formerly Telekom Austria).

The deal, which CK Hutchison subsidiary Drei claimed is like coffee and sachertorte (a type of chocolate cake), creates an operating unit offering fixed-line, mobile, internet, TV and IT solutions with around €1 billion in revenues.

Drei said it will continue to use Tele2’s existing business model, with the latter brand operating as a subsidiary, with rebranding not expected to take place until Q2 2018 at the earliest.

Drei (or Three Austria) started operations in May 2003, but grew significantly when Hutch announced the acquisition of Orange Austria from the Orange group in a 2012 deal worth $1.7 billion.

Jan Trionow, CEO of Drei: “The closing of our transaction is good news for both companies’ customers, employees and Austria’s infrastructure. With this acquisition, Drei and Tele2 have merged into an alternative telecommunications full-service provider. With the successful integration of Tele2, we will prove once again that one and one can make three.”

Tele2 is Austria’s second biggest landline provider among business clients, with around a third of large businesses as its customers. It will continue with the same regional Tele2 teams on board.

After the consolidation, Drei said it plans to roll out new offers of complete telecommunication and IT, as well as innovative bundles for its residential customers. The first joint products are expected to be launched in Q2 of 2018 to coincide with the rebranding process.

Trionow added: “Tele2 is the perfect match for Drei – like a cup of coffee with a Sachertorte. In the future, we will be able to offer from our own resources what was only achievable with the help of partners in the past. This will provide new opportunities especially in growth areas like smart home, IoT and M2M solutions.”