Report: Orange sets November deadline for Dominican Republic unit

Orange has set a mid-November deadline for bids for its Dominican Republic unit, and is looking to seal what could be around a €1 billion ($1.37 billion) deal by the end of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported without naming sources.

Orange has previously confirmed that it is conducting an asset review of its operations in the Dominican Republic and has invited potential buyers to submit bids, but stressed that the sale of Orange Dominicana is only one of several options available and that no decision has been made in this respect.

"Any such decision would be made in the best interests of all parties and with the objective of capturing the best growth and development opportunities for Orange Dominicana," an Orange spokesperson told FierceWireless:Europe.

Potential interested parties reportedly include Millicom, Jamaica's Digicel, Cable & Wireless Communications and private equity firms in the United States and Latin America. The Journal's latest report said Cable & Wireless Communications and Digicel are among those now considering making binding bids.

Orange Dominicana provides mobile phone and Internet services to retail and business customers, and has a 38.4 per cent share of the mobile market. It has also launched LTE services in the market, according to previous reports from Orange.

The Journal said the unit had 3.3 million mobile subscribers in the third quarter, up 6.3 per cent from a year earlier, according to company figures. It had 2012 revenue of €451 million, or 1 per cent of Orange's overall sales, according to the company's annual report.

Like other operators in Europe, Orange is looking to cut its net debt, which the Journal said stood at €21.6 billion ($29.7 billion) on June 30, and consolidate further in its stronger markets.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

Related Articles:
Report: Orange targeting €900M bonanza from Dominican Republic exit
Orange seeks new horizons in South Africa, Myanmar
Battle-scarred France Telecom sees salvation in LTE
FT Orange targets new revenues with launch of 'Horizons' subsidiary
France Telecom: IPO of EE stake depends on LTE adoption