The Estonian Competition Authority has approved the transaction in which Elisa will acquire 100 percent of the shares in AS Starman from Polaris Invest and Com Holding, Elisa said in an announcement to the stock exchange Thursday.
Elisa estimates that the deal will be closed during March-April 2017.
The manager of Elisa Eesti AS, Sami Seppanen, said the decision of the Competition Authority offers the possibility to start building a joint company that is able to offer its clients both connectivity and entertainment services. “A big company with almost 1,000 employees will emerge on the market, which offers its clients a broad selection of services,” said Seppanen.
Seppanen described the merger of Starman and Elisa as a natural course of events, as in today’s word connectivity and entertainment are becoming increasingly intertwined.
“Boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred, the experience of watching videos on a smartphone has become increasingly important and television in its turn is moving onto smart devices,” he said, adding that this was the reason why Elisa was buying Starman.
Today the goal has been set at building a joint company within a year, Seppanen said. “Two successful companies are stronger still together and there’s a lot of synergy involved. The most important synergy is widening of the selection of services for the customer,” the manager of the Estonian operation of Elisa said. “We will be on the market with united services and new solutions within one year at the latest,” he said.
Starman is the number one service provider in pay TV services and number two in fixed broadband services in Estonia with market shares approximately 35% and 20%, respectively.
Elisa announced in the middle of December it had bought from Polaris Invest, a company owned by Indrek Kuivallik, and Com Holding the full ownership of the Estonian telecommunications company Starman for a cash consideration of 151 mln euros.
Elisa said at the time that the transaction was consistent with its strategy to strengthen its market position in its home markets. The newly acquired business creates a new integrated operator, which enables Elisa to widen its customer base in Estonia and expand the service offering to both Elisa and Starman customers. The deal is expected to have a positive effect earnings per share already in 2017, it said.
At the end of the third quarter of 2016, Starman had approximately 122,000 cable TV subscriptions, 88,000 broadband subscriptions, 60,000 digital terrestrial subscriptions and 30,000 telephony subscriptions.