Albania’s antitrust and competition authority has cleared the sale of over 80% of Albtelecom to Hungarian IT company 4iG.
Along with the purchase of One, in early December, the same company, 4ig, announced it had signed a final agreement to acquire the stake in ALBtelecom providing both fixed and mobile communication services. Now approved, 4ig will form part of a duopoly with Vodafone, which controls the rest of the market .One is the second-largest mobile company with more than 1.3 million customers and revenue exceeding EUR 68 million.“Thanks to its telecoms network, which was renewed last year, ONE Telecommunications is an operator with strong growth potential and will fit well into our Western Balkan telecoms portfolio once the acquisition is completed. We are proud that with the acquisition of ONE Telecommunications and ALBtelecom, 4iG Group will become one of the largest investors in Albania and the largest player in the Albanian telco market. We have come to the country as a professional investor with a long-term vision to be present in the country, providing high-quality services to residential and business customers,” said Gellért Jászai, Chairman and CEO of 4iG, following the announcement.4ig is owned by Gellért Jászaim, who for years, managed the business empire of billionaire Lőrinc Mészáros, a close friend of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Jászaim is also close to the government, and his firms have long provided services through lucrative state contracts.One of his companies, T-Systems, was under investigation by Hungarian prosecutors over several such secretive contracts.
After the transaction, Albania will continue to own a minority stake in Albtelecom through the ministry of finance and economy, which holds a stake of 13.78%, and the Albanian Post, which owns 2.47%, 4iG noted at the time. The remaining 3.48% stake is distributed among individuals, Albtelecom’s website shows.