Iliad’s Niel to acquire Orange Switzerland for €2.3 billion

Iliad’s Niel to acquire Orange Switzerland for €2.3 billion

French telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel is to acquire Orange Switzerland from Apax Partners in a deal worth €2.3 billion.

NJJ Capital, Niel’s private holding company, will buy the business from Apax Partners, the London-based private equity group that acquired Orange Switzerland for €1.6 billion in 2012. 

It marks an ongoing effort by Niel to grow his telecoms empire, having withdrawn a bit to acquire T-Mobile US from Deutsche Telekom in October. Niel, who owns French telco Iliad and Free Mobile, has also been linked with European operators such as Bouygues Telecom, Orange-owned Belgian unit Mobistar and Dutch carrier KPN’s BASE.

“Since 2012, when Orange Switzerland was acquired by the Apax Funds, my team and I have followed very closely all the developments at the company,” said Niel. “We have witnessed the successful transformation at Orange Switzerland under Apax’s leadership. As the new owner of Orange Switzerland, NJJ Capital will provide continuity to Orange Switzerland’s customers, employees and management.”

Over the last three years, Orange Switzerland has modernised its IT systems and launched 4G services which cover 90% of the Swiss population.