Deutsche Telekom’s Croatian Unit Hrvatski Telekom Expands its Horizon with MSP Combis Acquisition


Hrvatski Telekom (T-HT), Deutsche Telecom unit and the Croatian market leader in the telecommunications sector, made a bold move and established its firm presence in the fast-evolving landscape of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in Croatia. It acquired Combis, an IT services company, that categorizes as an IT MSP (Managed Service Provider).

The purchase price was 25.5 million EUR to a maximum of 31.5 million EUR. Although not widely reported at the time, this M&A move was an important one on the competitive market chessboard, signifying a pivotal moment in redefining T-HT’s market presence.

This acquisition by the Croatian telecom giant was not merely an act of revenue expansion via an inorganic growth strategy but a calculated move to enhance its competitiveness, and diversify its services in the fast-growing ICT market. This goes to show how significant mergers and acquisitions can be as instruments of expansion and synergy.

The acquisition of Combis was a maneuver that changed the game not only for T-HT but also for Croatia’s growing ICT sector. Although it didn’t make global headlines at the time, it has since emerged as a textbook example of M&A brilliance.

The Combis Gem: Fueling T-HT's ICT Ascent

Combis, an IT MSP rooted in Croatia, possessed a unique prowess - delivering complex IT solutions to businesses. This sort of strategic alignment provided T-HT to morph into offering end-to-end solutions that spanned from robust telecommunication infrastructure to differentiated IT consultancy and services.

In an era of digital transformation, which has become more than crucial for enterprises, this move not only diversified T-HT’s services but also fortified its competitive edge. As the demand for integrated ICT solutions skyrocketed from year to year, the synergy of T-HT’s telecom backbone and Combis’ IT excellence effectively became a market-defining position.

Telecom Meets IT: A Symbiotic Symphony

When the telecommunications and IT industries converge and merge, it represents a crescendo in the symphony of industry giants. Hrvatski Telekom’s acquisition of Combis epitomizes this synergy. Now, telecom companies, with their infrastructure expertise, could harmoniously integrate IT solutions, aligning themselves with the dynamic needs of the corporate sector.

This collaboration didn't just foster connectivity; it birthed an environment where businesses achieved unprecedented efficiency and customer satisfaction. Today, through Combis, T-HT delivers a comprehensive gamut of services, from cloud computing to cybersecurity, data analytics, and IT consulting. This diversified portfolio now positions T-HT as a prime player, adept at addressing the digital transformation needs of businesses, from SMEs to corporate behemoths.

Croatia's ICT Landscape Reimagined

The impact of this acquisition wasn't confined to the boardrooms of T-HT but resonated across the Croatian ICT sector. T-HT, once predominantly known for telecom services, is now a key player in the ICT realm. The company deftly adjusted to the evolving market dynamics, transforming into a comprehensive ICT service provider.

This goes to show an example of how forward-thinking corporations can chart new industry paradigms through the power of foresight and adaptability. It’s not an understatement to say that Hrvatski Telekom’s acquisition of Combis remains a blueprint for how M&A events redefine corporate horizons and revolutionize industries. It surely is a testament to the remarkable synergy between telecom and IT, defying the conventional silos of these domains.

Croatia's Digital Future and Beyond

In an age where connectivity and data govern the business ecosystem, the T-HT-Combis merger epitomizes the digital convergence that is reshaping industries globally. The future, we predict, will witness more telecom giants diversifying into the ICT sector, with M&A events being the catalysts.

This acquisition presents more than just a deal, it’s a case in point of a strategic marvel that has redefined T-HT’s scope and the ICT landscape in Croatia. As it continues to resonate across markets, it’s a reminder that in the digital era, the line between telecom and IT is blurring. Forward-thinking mergers like this one are not just a strategic move, they're a necessity in navigating the digital future.

Hrvatski Telekom and Combis: A Case Study in M&A Brilliance

Hrvatski Telekom's acquisition of Combis stands as a case study in M&A brilliance. This strategic move, while underreported at the time, was nothing short of a game-changer, transforming both T-HT and the Croatian ICT landscape. It was a testament to T-HT's ability to foresee industry shifts and adapt proactively.

Combis, known for its IT solutions, brought to the table a plethora of services, showcasing how a giant like T-HT can diversify into a one-stop ICT solution provider. It's an excellent example of how telecom and IT can seamlessly merge in the digital age, ushering in a new era of business efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Charting the Future

As the global business landscape navigates an increasingly digital future, the amalgamation of telecom and IT services is becoming a necessity rather than a mere strategy. Hrvatski Telekom's Combis acquisition remains a blueprint for digital convergence, an example that other telecom giants worldwide would do well to study and follow.

The acquisition has reshaped T-HT's corporate identity and redefined the boundaries of the Croatian ICT sector. In the coming years, expect more corporations to embark on similar paths, blending telecom and IT to stay relevant in an ever-evolving digital ecosystem.

Redmount M&A is a strategic partner for aiding companies in the MSP space to achieve their growth and capital restructuring goals. The firm has a track record in helping MSP companies execute transactions, achieve strategic capital restructuring, and in effect, increase the desired long-term market expansion objectives.

Andrej Veskovic
Investment Banking Associate at Redmount M&A