Telenor has agreed to sell its assets in Central and Eastern Europe to investment company PPF Group, as it continues to reconfigure its portfolio.

The €2.8 billion deal sees the exchange of the Norway-based operator’s businesses in Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia, as well as technology service provider Telenor Common Operation.

Together, they account for more than nine million customers and around 3,500 employees.

Last year, the businesses contributed approximately nine percent of Telenor Group's revenues and eight percent of its EBITDA.

The deal comes two months after Telenor said it was considering a sale after receiving an offer from an unnamed party.

Telenor said it hoped to conclude the deal, which requires regulatory approval, in Q3 this year.

It said it would use some of the proceeds to pay a special dividend to shareholders.

Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke said: “With the sale of our CEE assets, we take an important step in simplifying and focusing Telenor's portfolio on the regions where we see the strongest potential for value creation.

“Following this transaction, Telenor's footprint will consist of integrated fixed and mobile operations in Scandinavia, and strong mobile positions in Asia."

PPF Group is the largest private investment group in CEE with approximately €35 billion of assets in sectors including banking, real estate, mining and telecommunications.

It acquired O2 Czech Republic from Telefónica in 2013.

Ladislav Bartonícek, PPF Group's shareholder responsible for telecommunications, said: "With this purchase, PPF Group is expanding its telecommunications portfolio to four more countries, and fulfilling our long-held goal to become a mid-sized European operator and to use our experience to strengthen our market position.”

Read more: Telenor CEO on preparing for the fight ahead through digital transformation

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