The Competition Council wants to know the source of the money in the possible acquisition of Telekom Mobile by Quantum Projects, a company controlled by Adrian Tomșa, the owner of the media group Clever Media. “It matters where the money comes from. If the money comes from a market player obviously the analysis changes. It doesn’t mean that it can’t be done, but it’s a different analysis, said Bogdan Chirioțoiu, the president of the Competition Council, on Tuesday.
Bogdan ChiritoiuPhoto: AGERPRES
The president of the competition authority made these clarifications when asked about certain fears in the telecom market regarding the connection of the investor group led by Adrian Tomșa and RCS&RDS/Digi and a possible easy access that the telecom group led by Zoltan Teszari could obtain to Telekom assets Mobile, without having to buy it.
Bogdan Chirițoiu said that the joint use of assets between telecom companies is not a concern, in the context in which, in order not to increase prices, the sharing of networks between telecom operators was allowed.
Chirițoiu: It matters where the money comes from! We have not received answers to all our questions
On the other hand, he admitted that the investigation aims to find out if there is money and what is the source of this money.
- “Romania is one of the countries that has 4 players on the mobile phone market. If possible, we would prefer it to remain 4. That’s why we have to see what the business plan is, what is the investor’s ability to ensure the operation of Telekom, which is not doing great, it is not a thriving company.
- If someone comes and wants to keep her alive, does she have that ability? And above all, does he have the money to buy it and keep it running until the company stabilizes?
- And then it matters where the money comes from. I don’t just look at the one who comes and says he buys. Because that may be the property of x, which she of y which is his I don’t know who. I need to find out who the final beneficiary is.
- If the money comes from somewhere else, that tells me that the ultimate beneficiary is not the one standing in front of me, but the one giving the money.
- If the money comes from a market player obviously the analysis changes. It doesn’t mean that it can’t be done, but it’s a different analysis, because it means that the financier buys, and then I look at whether it makes sense or not to approve the purchase made by the financier,” said Chirițoiu.
It said the competition authority was still reviewing the transaction.
- “We are still in analysis. We expect to finish it in a few months. We have not received answers to all our questions.
- In parallel, the national security analysis is also going on. We will see what the different institutions that are part of this commission think,” said the president of the Competition Council.
Asked what questions he had not yet received answers to, Chiritoiu said he had requested details about the business plan, management, existence and source of the money, but stressed that he had barely made those requests.
The transaction is also analyzed from the point of view of state security
The documentation regarding the acquisition of Telekom Mobile Romania by Quantum Projects, a company controlled by Adrian Tomșa, the owner of the Clever Media media group, reached the Competition Council in November of last year.
The president of the authority, Bogdan Chirițoiu, then told HotNews.ro that the transaction will also be analyzed from the point of view of state security, a decision to be made, most likely, at the beginning of next year.
- “It must be taken into account that it is a strategic field and, as a result, the Commission for the Examination of Investments will make an analysis from the point of view of security”, Bogdan Chirițoiu, the president of the Competition Council, told HotNews.ro.
The Greek group OTE announced on Tuesday on the Athens stock exchange that it negotiated and signed a memorandum with Quantum Projects Group, controlled by Adrian Tomșa, the owner of the media group Clever Media, for the full sale of Telekom Mobile Romania.
In the announcement made to the stock market, OTE says that it has constantly tried in recent years to improve the performance of Telekom Mobile Romania (TKRM) while exploring strategic options to ensure its long-term growth.
- “In this context, OTE conducted negotiations with Quantum Projects Group, controlled by Adrian Tomșa, the owner of the Clever Media media group, regarding the latter’s interest in acquiring TKRM.
- The parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding, to facilitate this process, and submitted it for approval to the competent Romanian authorities.”, it is specified in the OTE announcement.
The Clever Group is one of the most important players in the Romanian media market, with 11 television channels in its complete portfolio (Profit News, Prima TV, Prima Sport 1, 2 and 3, Prima News, Prima Comedy, Agro TV, Medika TV , Cinemaraton and Cinemaest), 7 sites (profit.ro, primatv.ro, primanews.ro, primasport.ro, agro-tv.ro, lookmedica.ro, servuscluj.ro) and the PrimaPlay platform.
The majority shareholder of Telekom Romania Mobile is the Greek group OTE, which is in turn owned 46% by the German group Deutsche Telekom.