Carphone expands French footprint

UK’s Carphone Warehouse has acquired the French operations of Tele2 for €56 million via its subsidiary Virgin Mobile France. The UK high street retailer turned telecoms operator owns 48.5% of Virgin Mobile France.
“The Tele2 France deal marks a major step forward in Virgin Mobile's growth plans in France and will help it progress towards its target of being profitable during 2010 and its ambition of having more than 2 million customers,” Carphone CEO Charles Dunstone said in a statement.
Tele2 France has around 429,000 mobile customers but Carphone forecast that the figure will drop to 385,000 once the deal is finalized.
Following the completion of deal Virgin Mobile France will have just over 1.6 million subscribers, making it the market’s largest MVNO.
“The acquisition will allow Virgin Mobile to reduce its operating costs by strengthening its relationship with the network operators, and will also help cut costs and drive major economies of scale,” the company said.
Swedish carrier Tele2 has been pulling back on its European investments in order to focus on its core Nordic assets. It has already divested assets in Belgium, the UK, Spain, Italy and Switzerland.