O2 Czech Takes Over Virtual Operator Gorila Mobil


By Sean Carney

PRAGUE--Telecommunications company O2 Czech Republic AS (BAATELEC.PR) said Tuesday that it has taken over the recently launched virtual operator Gorila Mobil.

O2 Czech said it will incorporate the company--which targets younger customers--into its broader retail offering.

The company didn't release financial details of the transaction.

Gorila Mobil, which has accumulated 50,000 clients in only three months according to O2 Czech, is a virtual mobile operator that leases air time in bulk from established telecommunications companies to re-sell stripped-down calling and data plans to individual clients.

Dozens of virtual operators have become active on the Czech market in the past two years, creating a challenging environment for the three main owners of the country's cellular infrastructure. Apart from O2 Czech these are local units of T-Mobile U.S. Inc. ( TMUS ) and Vodafone Group PLC (VOD.LN).

O2 Czech, which this year was taken over by Czech investment company PPF Group, partnered on the transaction with Unimex Group, a separate Czech investment company.

At 1250 GMT, O2 Czech's shares were trading down 4.6% on the day at 254.25 koruna($12.59) in a broadly lower market in Prague.

Write to Sean Carney at sean.carney@wsj.com; @SeanCarneyWSJ

Go to http://blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/ for the WSJ blog on Central and Eastern Europe, covering business, politics, society and more, written by our correspondents across the region.

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