UAE telco e& (formerly known as Etisalat) has confirmed it is in talks with Czech investment company PPF Group over a possible partnership as part of its plans to grow in Europe.

In a statement yesterday, the company said that discussions are in the early stages.

– Etisalat

The operator states that the partnership would aim to "explore strategic collaboration opportunities in central and southeastern Europe (excl. Czech Republic) that are mutually beneficial to both groups."

Founded in 1991, PPF Group invests in a variety of sectors, including banking and financial services, telecommunications, media, biotechnology, plus real estate.

The company operates in the Czech Republic and 25 additional countries across Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa.

e& has signaled its intention to grow beyond the Middle East in recent times after it expanded its stake in Vodafone Group to above 14 percent in April.

The firm paid $4.4 billion for an initial 9.8 percent stake in Vodafone last year, with Vodafone saying at the time that a full takeover was not on the cards.

In the statement yesterday, e& noted that it will keep the market updated on any developments.