France Tel offloads Swiss mobile unit

Speculation over the future of France Telecom’s Swiss unit is over, after the telco revealed it is selling the unit to venture capital firm Apax Partners.
 
The operator agreed to sell Orange Switzerland for €1.6 billion, which values the firm at six-and-a-half times higher than its 2011 EBITDA. The deal forms part of France Telecom’s strategy to focus on emerging markets in a bid to double earnings from the regions by 2015.
 
Reports a sale was in the cards surfaced in September, when the Financial Times revealed up to 12 parties were interested in buying the Swiss business. At the time, the paper predicted France Telecom would make €1.5 billion from the deal.
 
The deal with Apax also shuts the door on a potential sale to cable firm Cablecom, which was rumored after chief Eric Tveter admitted to being interested in Orange Switzerland in October.

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