Billion-euro Austrian telecoms deal eyed: report
(VIENNA) - France Telecom and its partner Mid Europa are selling their Austrian mobile unit Orange to Hong Kong-based Hutchison in a one-billion-euro ($1.3-billion) deal, a press report said Saturday.
Final details are being worked out but the long-awaited deal should be signed in the coming days, Austrian daily Die Presse reported, without citing sources. Orange head Michael Krammer declined to comment, the paper said.
The sale price will be 1.4 billion euros but Hutchison, which is also already active in Austria with its "3" brand, will sell assets worth 300-400 million euros to rival Telekom Austria to satisfy regulators, the report said.
The deal, which will create a company with 3.5 million customers and a 28-percent market share, could still however attract close scrutiny from European Union competition authorities, Die Presse added.
The sale for the heavily-indebted France Telecom marks the latest step in its efforts to sell non-core assets, having recently offloaded its Swiss mobile unit to private equity group Apax Partners for 1.6 billion euros.
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