France Telecom (FT) Orange is negotiating to buy the KPN-owned Spanish MVNO Simyo, and a deal valuing Simyo at around €30 million could be struck by year-end, according to a report in El Economista.
The Spanish newspaper, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, reported that purchasing details between FT Orange and KPN are at a final stage, and will be concluded once a firm price for Simyo is agreed upon.
Simyo is hosted as an MVNO on Orange's Spanish network and currently has over 400,000 customers. Last December KPN sold its Simyo MVNO operation in France for a rumoured €20 million to Bouygues Telecom, according to La Tribune. At the time, Simyo France had around 180,000 customers.
Vodafone Spain was reportedly interested in making a bid for Simyo, but appears to have been trumped by FT as the deal nears a conclusion. FT is keen to acquire the MVNO to avoid a sharp fall in revenues from the loss of the Simyo's 400,000 MVNO customers, according to El Economista.
If Orange is successful with its bid, then its Spanish customer base would rise to nearly 16 million, close to the 16.3 million reported by Vodafone Spain. FT has previously stated that it wants to become the second largest mobile operator in Spain (behind Telefónica) as part of its "Conquest 2015" strategy.
KPN has been looking to offload its Spanish MVNO since last year, but the sale was postponed due to technical problems relating to the use of Huawei equipment. FT is also said to be interested in bidding for Spain's fourth largest operator Yoigo, a subsidiary of TeliaSonera.
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