Horizon Capital’s EEGF II Raises Stake to 96% in Datagroup, Ukraine’s Leading National Fiber Infrastructure and Digital Services Provider
November 12, 2020
Kyiv, Ukraine – Horizon Capital, a leading private equity firm in Emerging Europe, has increased its stake in Datagroup, Ukraine’s leading fiber infrastructure and digital services provider, from 73.46% to 96.13%, via its $370 million fund, Emerging Europe Growth Fund II, L.P. (EEGF II). EEGF II is pleased to be the sole investor in Datagroup, alongside CEO Mykhailo Shelemba, who holds 3.87%. As a result of this transaction, the Company’s founder Oleksandr Kardakov, and other minority investors, have fully exited Datagroup. Financial details of this deal were not disclosed.
“We are delighted to deepen our commitment even further to Datagroup, and to the telecom sector in Ukraine. Since assuming operational control of the Company in 2016, Datagroup has completed a full business turnaround, reducing net debt to EBITDA by 9 times to a low 0.3 level today, and delivering over 20% compound annual growth in EBITDA. Datagroup continues to invest heavily into CAPEX, embarking on a network modernization program that will enhance further the high quality of services and innovation provided to its valued clients. Under Mykhailo Shelemba’s exceptional leadership, Datagroup has boosted its leading position in B2B, wholesale, international traffic and satellite communication segments, and is poised to deliver continued solid growth, both organically and through M&A”, said Horizon Capital Principal Dmytro Boroday, who leads this transaction at Horizon Capital.
“We are especially excited about the future possibilities for Datagroup against the backdrop of Ukraine’s ambitious digitalization agenda, with the country ranking near the top globally for issuance of digital passports and driver’s licenses, and many impressive initiatives underway”, added Lenna Koszarny, Horizon Capital’s Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer. “We firmly believe that Datagroup’s market leadership and technical excellence, alongside these extensive digitalization efforts underway in Ukraine, position the Company for sustained, long-term growth amidst global fixed mobile convergence trends. I take this opportunity to thank Mr. Oleksandr Kardakov for our cooperation over the years, and, for founding this national champion back in 2000, and pioneering the development of the industry since then. We wish him great success in his future endeavors!”
Oleksandr Kardakov, founder and former shareholder of Datagroup, said: “I am proud of the Company’s results and the successful transformation that has taken place over the past four years. I am pleased that the Company has strengthened its partnership with Horizon Capital, an investor that has backed Datagroup for many years, and wish them success in their strategic ambitions. I am confident that, together with management, they will take Datagroup forward to a new stage of growth and development.”
Mykhailo Shelemba, Datagroup Chief Executive Officer and shareholder, added further: “I am truly grateful to Horizon Capital for the trust and support during the Company’s transformation. We have achieved stellar results, with bold plans underway to expand and modernize Datagroup’s infrastructure, enhance services for our customers and further grow our business. Ukraine is rapidly digitizing its government and its economy, our entire Datagroup team recognize our important role in contributing to this transformation. I thank Oleksandr Kardakov for his contribution as a founding shareholder, and for his support during these pivotal years as Datagroup evolved into the dynamic business that it is today.”
Datagroup is a leading national fiber operator with dominant market share in corporate and wholesale segments. Leveraging its fiber-optic network (including backbone & FTTx), the Company is a reliable partner for over 50% of the top 200 largest companies in Ukraine and 93% of the country’s banks. Datagroup benefits from a strong foothold in residential and SME segments with 1 million homes connected via its own fiber and is the only provider of satellite connectivity in Ukraine, which is in demand in areas with no fiber and mobile coverage. Datagroup provides a wide range of services for business, including the construction of corporate networks, Internet services and television, access to banking services, cybersecurity and protection against DDoS attacks, telephony and outsourcing contact center services, cloud services and data center services. For individuals, Datagroup provides Internet, television, and telephony services. Since 2016, the Company has been led by CEO Mykhailo Shelemba, who has raised Datagroup to a new level, delivering impressive operational and financial performance based on high-impact projects in network management, security and efficiency of IT systems, staff motivation and productivity, and launch of new products and services, including cybersecurity and cloud services. Today, Datagroup is one of the fastest-growing telecom companies nationwide, more at https://www.datagroup.ua/
Horizon Capital is the leading private equity firm in Ukraine and Moldova backed by over 40 institutional investors, managing four funds with assets under management of over $850 million and a tenure of 25 years in the region. The firm is an active, value-added, growth equity investor, investing alongside visionary entrepreneurs leading transformational businesses in Ukraine and the near region. Our investment strategy focuses on export champions in technology, e-commerce, light manufacturing, and food and agro, as well as select domestic champions in fast-growing sectors. We are known for our strong team, high integrity and governance, value creation and track record of successful investments.
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