Romania's Competition Council approved the French global investor and asset manager Meridiam's takeover of half the shares in Netcity Telecom through a partnership with Netcity's owner E-Infra.
Netcity Telecom operates Bucharest's 1,760 km long underground fibre optic network. Its activities include designing, building, and operating the duct network for the entire Bucharest area, thus improving the visual appearance of the city and safety through the migration of the aerial cable networks underground.
"Following a review of the transaction, the Competition Council has found that it does not raise significant obstacles to effective competition in the market, in particular by establishing or strengthening of a dominant position," the anti-trust body said in a statement.
"We are excited about this innovative partnership, which is also our very first investment in Romania. This project will enable to attract investments in the global digital industry in Bucharest and ensure the development of city-based solutions to increase the quality of life in the Capital City," said Matthieu Muzumdar, Meridiam Chief Operating Officer Europe.
"The telecommunications infrastructure sector is evolving rapidly, and we need to be at the forefront of this transformation. We are confident that the partnership with Meridiam will bring major benefits to the Netcity project and of course to the Romanian capital. The trust is reflected in the size and potential of our current and future projects," added Teofil Mureșan, E-Infra Chairman and CEO.
Netcity Telecom and Concesiune Telecom are now 50% owned by Romanian internet service and infrastructure provider Direct One, which is part of the E-INFRA Holding alongside Electrogrup SA, Electrogrup Inc., and natural gas and electricity producer, provider and distributor Nova Power & Gas S.R.L.
Direct One bought Netcity from Romanian information and technology holding UTI in 2016.