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EMP Europe announces two successful exits in Romania and Czech Republic

18 March 2005

EMP Europe, the leading private equity firm focused on Central Europe, announces two further strong exits from its USD 550 million AIG Emerging Europe Infrastructure Fund.

EMP Europe has exited its two investments in MobiFon S.A ("MobiFon"), the Romanian GSM operator, and Czech GSM operator Oskar Mobil a.s. ("Oskar"), thereby generating a total of USD 337 million to the fund's investors from the two investments.

In 2004, EMP Europe converted its shareholdings in MobiFon and Oskar into an influential position and part of the control block in Telesystem International Wireless Inc. ("TIW"). TIW has now entered into a definitive agreement with Vodafone International Holdings B.V., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vodafone Group Plc, ("Vodafone") to sell its 79.0% shareholding of MobiFon and 100.0% of Oskar. The consideration is payable in cash upon closing of the sale, is not subject to financing, and the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2005.

Since EMP Europe invested in Oskar in 1999 and MobiFon in 2003, both companies have exhibited strong growth and increased profitability. Oskar is the newest mobile operator in the Czech Republic. Launched in March 2000, Oskar has already attracted more than 1.8 million subscribers, becoming one of the fastest growing 3rd operators in Europe.

MobiFon is the leading mobile telecommunications operator and one of the strongest companies in Romania. MobiFon, which operates under the registered trademark Connex, launched the first GSM network in Romania in April 1997, and had 4.9 million subscribers as at December 31, 2004.

"We are proud of the interest in both MobiFon and Oskar as these companies are now considered two leading Central European mobile operators. The close and constructive working relationship we built with senior management in developing the strategic goals has resulted in both MobiFon and Oskar meeting or exceeding our ambitious initial plans for revenue and earnings growth" said Thierry Baudon, CEO of EMP Europe.

The announcement from EMP Europe follows on the back of two recent successful exits from the same fund. In October 2004, EMP Europe sold its 39 percent stake in Polish Cable TV operator Aster City Cable to Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst for more than three times its initial investment. In December 2004, it successfully divested its entire majority shareholding in Telemach, Slovenia's largest broadband communications provider, to trade buyer UnitedGlobalCom Inc (UGC).

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