Vodafone sells its Hungarian business for $1.8 billion

Shoppers wear protective face masks outside a Vodafone store in a downtown mall ahead of Black Friday amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Cairo suburb of Maadi, Egypt November 26, 2020 REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/ File Photo

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LONDON, Aug 22 (Reuters) – Britain’s Vodafone (VOD.L) will sell its Hungarian business for 715 billion forints ($1.8 billion) in cash, it said on Monday, as part of a agreement that will create a local telecommunications leader in the Central European country.

The British mobile and broadband group said it had agreed non-binding terms with buyers, Hungarian 4iG (IGNY.BU) and state-owned Corvinus Zrt.

The deal – which does not include Vodafone’s shared services business, VOIS – is expected to create Hungary’s second-largest telecom operator.

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“The Hungarian government has a clear strategy to build a Hungarian national champion in the (information and communications technology) sector,” Vodafone chief executive Nick Read said in a statement.

The sale should be finalized at the end of 2022.

($1 = 404.0500 forints)

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Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru and Sachin Ravikumar in London; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Kylie MacLellan

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Laura T. Thrasher