BASE attracts potential bidders

BASE attracts potential bidders

Following confirmation from Dutch carrier KPN last week that it was considering the future of its Belgian mobile unit, BASE, interest in the operator has reportedly been expressed by a French billionaire and several equity firms.

Xavier Niel, owner of French telecoms group Iliad and the recently launched Free Mobile, as well as private equity firms Bain Capital and CVC Capital Partners, are said to be among those that may bid, according to Bloomberg.

Apax Partners, which recently bought Orange Switzerland for $2.1 billion, and Providence Equity Partners are also said to be considering bids for BASE.

It is thought that BASE’s rivals Belgacom (Proximus) and France Telecom (Mobistar) are unlikely to consider bids, as they would be opposed by the country’s competition authorities.

KPN issued a profit warning in January due to declines in fixed and mobile revenues, which may be the reason it is considering a sale.

BASE has performed solidly since being rebranded in 2002 and is valued at approximately $2.4 billion.

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