Telenet buys Belgium mobile operator BASE for US$1.43 bil.
Dutch telecom group KPN said Monday it was selling its Belgian cellphone operator BASE to cable group Telenet for 1.325 billion euros (NT$44.20 billion; US$1.43 billion).
The deal — which will have to be approved by regulators — will allow Telenet, owned by U.S. giant Liberty Global, to reinforce its fixed line and Internet services in Belgium, and take ownership of BASE’s mobile network.
BASE is the third biggest cellphone operator in Belgium with 3.3 million subscribers and 2014 turnover of 690 million euros in 2014, behind rivals Proximus and Mobistar — whose mobile network Telenet currently relies on for mobile access.
Telenet chairman John Porter said, “Through the acquisition of BASE we have made a significant step to secure long-term mobile access conditions, ensuring we are well positioned to effectively compete for the future growth opportunity of mobile data.”
The merging companies posted combined adjusted revenues of 2.4 billion euros, and are expected to generate 150 million euros in new synergies — notably by migrating Telenet cellphone customers to the BASE network.
Telenet said it will invest 240 million euros in coming years, some of which will go towards facilitating BASE’s integration and to further develop its mobile infrastructure.
That funding will come atop 500 million euros in investment funds previously set aside to upgrade Telenet’s hybrid fibre/coax network to boost client connection speed.