France Tel sells Orange Austria
Hutchison Whampoa’s Austrian division is taking over France Telecom’s local Orange operation, in a deal that values the business at €1.3 billion.
France Telecom will gain roughly half (€70 million) of the total sale price for its 35% stake in Orange Austria, with the remainder going to its local partner Mid Europa Partners.
The carriers predict the sale will complete by mid-2012, at which point Hutchison plans to sell some Orange Austria frequencies, base stations and intellectual property to Austrian incumbent Telekom Austria. Mobile phone operator Yesss! will also be included in the sale.
Orange Austria is the second European business sold by France Telecom in the past two months, following a deal to sell Orange Switzerland to Apax Partners for €1.6 billion in late December. Both sales form part of the telco’s plan to refocus on emerging markets over the next three years.