Hong-Kong based telecom service provider CITIC Telecom has acquired Linx Telecommunications, including Linx’s 470 km fiber network in the Baltic Sea, and its network operations centers (NOCs) in Moscow, Russia, and Tallinn, Estonia. The deal extends CITIC’s footprint to Central Asia and Eastern Europe.
Currently, the deal is undergoing customary regulatory approval and the acquisition is expected to complete in the second half of 2016.
Commenting on the deal, Mr. Xin Yue Jiang, Chairman of CITIC Telecom International Holdings Limited said, “Our mission is ‘Connecting The World with Quality Service’ and the acquisition of these important telecommunications assets is significant to our development strategy of expanding business internationally and increasing global network coverage, keeping Mainland China as the foundation of our business, with Hong Kong and Macau serving as both base and springboard to more opportunities.”
“We are leveraging Linx’s extensive network resources and experience in Central Asia, Central and Eastern Europe to significantly boost our access to, and capability to handle, opportunities from the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, in addition to addressing and better serving our customers’ business needs in these regions,” he added.
With the infrastructure and business operations of Linx, CITIC Telecom will service its customers in 14 countries with 24 points of presence (POPs) across Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Central Asia.
This latest acquisition will also reinforce CITIC Telecom CPC’s capabilities in managed networking services, cloud computing and other managed value-added data services. Moreover, the Russian language proficiency among Linx Telecommunications team members joining CITIC Telecom CPC will bring added competency in expanding business in the region.
“The acquisition of Linx Telecommunications will enable CITIC Telecom CPC to expand our reach to markets covered by the ‘One Belt, One Road’ Initiative. By extending our footprint to Russian-speaking markets and Central Asia, we will enhance network access for our existing customers and facilitate greater business growth across Asia and Europe,” said Mr. Stephen Ho, CEO of CITIC Telecom CPC.
The “One Belt, One Road” Initiative targets to foster growth and closer cooperation in trade links, capital flows, infrastructural investment and policy coordination in Asia, Europe, and Africa. It is expected that investment by China under the Initiative will double within the next three years, reaching a total of US$200 billion. Currently, The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Silk Road Fund are the two major financial institutions involved in the Initiative, with additional investment from the Russia Direct Investment Fund in the pipeline.