KPN cancels sale of Belgian unit BASE
KPN said today that it had cancelled the sale of its Belgian mobile unit BASE due to unsatisfactory offers for the company.
In a statement the Dutch carrier said that “the non-binding offers did not take the strong position and outlook of BASE into account” describing the operator as having a “successful challenger strategy with strong revenue growth, attractive margins and excellent momentum for continued upside.”
Potential bidders for BASE were thought to include media group De Persgroep and private equity firms Blackstone, Providence and Cinven.
Belgium’s leading cable operator Telenet had reportedly submitted a non-binding bid for BASE, which was rejected, and subsequently ruled itself out of the bidding this week after saying that it did not expect to make any major acquisitions in the near future.
KPN began the sale of BASE in July and had expected to raise to raise €1.7billion to ease its debt load.
The failed sale is the second by KPN in recent months, having also been unsuccessful in an attempt to spin-off its German unit, E-Plus, to prevent an aggressive stake acquisition from Carlos Slim’s América Móvil.