Any sale of KPN's mobile subsidiary in Belgium, BASE, is likely to trigger interest from Iliad's owner, the billionaire Xavier Niel, according to a Bloomberg report.
The report, which cited unnamed sources close to the situation, said that Iliad (which also owns Free Mobile in France) along with Bain Capital and CVC Capital Partners are among those that may bid for KPN's Belgian mobile unit known as BASE.
A successful bid by Iliad for BASE could spook Belgium's two largest mobile operators--Proximus and France Telecom's Mobistar-- and could indicate Iliad's international ambitions. Iliad made an unsuccessful bid for Orange Switzerland in partnership with Goldman Sachs last year.
Buyout firms Apax Partners and Providence Equity Partners are also thought to be considering bids for BASE.
KPN has yet to formally offer its BASE unit for sale, but indicated to the market last week that its future ownership was in question as it began a "comprehensive review" of the Belgian subsidiary. The Bloomberg article said that the unit may fetch around €1.8 billion, according to the unnamed sources.
- see this Bloomberg article
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