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Mobilkom Austria in agreement to purchase 19% interest in VIPnet

Telekom Austria has announced that its mobile subsidiary, Mobilkom Austria, has entered an agreement with Western Wireless International to purchase their 19% interest in Croatian mobile operator VIPnet, Jutarnji List reported.

The acquisition will increase Mobilkom Austria's stake in VIPnet to 99% with Croatian publisher Vecernji List owning the remaining 1%. The purchase price for the 19% stake is 59.3 million euros.

The completion of the transaction is conditional, among other things, upon receiving prior consent from VIPnet's senior lenders. The closing is expected to take place within 30 days.

First launched in July 1999, VIPnet is the leading mobile operator in Croatia, with over 1.1 million subscribers and a market share of 50.3% at the end of March 2003. VIPnet became GSM market leader within six months of beginning operations and achieved a positive EBITDA in the third quarter after the launch and a positive net result in the financial year 2000.

With the exit of Western Wireless International, Mobilkom Austria is now able to further integrate VIPnet's operations into the activities of the Mobilkom Austria group.

(NewsBase 09.vi.03)

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