Dubai’s Oger eyes M&A in new EU states

LONDON (Reuters) – Dubai-based Oger Telecom is looking at acquisition opportunities in new European Union member states and expects to seal two or three expansion decisions this year, its chief said on Wednesday. Chief Executive Paul Doany told Reuters that the expansion would be either via greenfield projects or acquisitions of existing telecoms operators, and could be routed through Oger itself or Turk Telecom, a Turkish company that Oger controls. Doany, who is also the chairman of Turk Telecom in which Oger bought a 55 percent stake in 2005, did not reveal details, but Oger has announced its intention to bid for the third mobile license in Saudi Arabia. The firm, which is controlled by Lebanon’s Hariri family and has Telecom Italia as an investor, runs fixed and mobile phone services in Turkey, a cellular business in South Africa, and Internet services in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon. Doany said the company would avoid Asia in its expansion drive as valuations of potential targets in the region had become too high. «We will not go there. We are looking at new EU members,» he said in an interview on the sidelines of a telecoms conference. Doany said Oger’s shareholders could make a decision on reviving the firm’s aborted flotation by the year-end.

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