H3G closes €1.3b Orange Austria deal
Hutchison 3G Austria (H3G) has closed its €1.3 billion acquisition of Orange Austria, making it the third largest mobile operator in the country.
H3G said in a release that it completed its purchase from Mid Europa Partners and France Telecom-Orange with its closing of all contractual formalities on Thursday.
"We are delighted that, after undergoing a lengthy regulatory process, we have finally been able to close this acquisition," said Jan Trionow, CEO of Hutchison Whampoa’s Austrian operation.
“I am particularly looking forward to working, with the combined talents and commitment of both existing and new colleagues in the company, to push forward with building a nationwide LTE network in Austria within the next two years.”
As part of the overall transaction, H3G has agreed to sell some Orange Austria frequencies, base stations and mobile phone provider Yesss! to Telekom Austria for 390 million. Telekom Austria said in a statement that it had completed the acquisition of Yesss! and the intellectual property rights for the "One" brand, while “closing on the other assets follows gradually”.
Both transactions have won regulatory approval, but T-Mobile Austria had tried to block the deal by lodging a court appeal against the re-allocation of radio frequencies, according to Reuters.
H3G and Orange Austria are the country's two smallest operators and have a combined market share of about 24%. The merge of H3G and Orange Austria will cut the number of mobile operators in the country from four to three.