14 Feb 2024 09:44

French billionaire Niel to buy Ukraine's Datagroup-Volia

MOSCOW. Feb 14 (Interfax) - French billionaire Xavier Niel's NJJ Capital, which plans to acquire the Ukrainian division of Turkcell, also wants to buy Ukrainian fixed telecom and digital services provider Datagroup-Volia (Datagroup Holding Limited).

Ukraine's Antimonopoly Committee is considering a request to approve the deal from NJJ Capital and Cyprus-based Datagroup Holding Limited, Ukrainian media reported, citing the committee. NJJ Capital intends to indirectly acquire shares in the Cypriot company in a deal that would give it more than 50% of votes in Datagroup Holding Limited's highest management body.

The request was initially filed with the regulator on December 29, 2023 but returned because it did not meet the committee's requirements. The second request was received by the committee on January 23 and accepted, and will be reviewed within the legally set time period.

Datagroup-Volia, formed as a result of Datagroup's acquisition of pay TV and broadband Internet provider Volia in 2021, is a leading telecom provider in Ukraine and is also actively developing cloud services. The Volia data center provides cloud and physical servers, hosts client servers, and provides IaaS cloud infrastructure and associated services. The company has been selected as the supplier of services for the accommodation of more than 3,000 servers.

Datagroup was more than 96% owned by Emerging Europe Growth Fund II LP (EEGF II), which is managed by U.S. investment company Horizon Capital as of the end of 2020. Horizon Capital's founder and CEO is Lenna Koszarny.

Turkcell signed an agreement on December 29, 2023 to transfer 100% of shares, as well as all rights and debts of Lifecell LLC, Ukraine's third largest mobile provider, as well as contact center outsourcing company Global Bilgi LLC and tower leasing company Ukrtower LLC to NJJ Capital. The deal will be worth about $525 million, Turkcell said.

Ukraine's Antimonopoly Committee received a request to approve the deal on December 29, 2023, but the documents did not meet the regulator's requirements so they were returned. The committee again received documents on the deal on January 23 and they are now being reviewed.