Telenet will not bid for KPN’s BASE
Belgium’s leading cable operator Telenet has effectively ruled itself out of bidding for KPN’s local mobile operation BASE after saying today that it did not expect to make any major acquisitions in the near future.
The cable operator had reportedly submitted a non-binding bid for BASE previously and was also rumoured to be considering a joint bid for the mobile operator with a private equity firm.
Other bidders for BASE are thought to include media group De Persgroep and private equity firms Blackstone, Providence and Cinven.
Analysts believe that local rivals Belgacom (Proximus) and France Telecom (Mobistar) would be unlikely to consider purchasing BASE as any deal would be blocked by Belgium’s competition authorities.
KPN is expected to raise up to €1.7 billion through the sale, which is considered crucial for cutting the carriers’ debt.
Telenet also announced today that it plans to take on €700 million in debt and use the funds to buy back shares in a tender offer.
KPN first announced that it was considering the sale of BASE in April but was distracted by an aggressive stake acquisition by Carlos Slim’s América Móvil.