Hutchison to buy Orange Austria

Orange Austria, owned by France Telecom, is to be acquired by Hong Kong’s Hutchison, which competes with Orange through its 3 Austria operation. The deal, worth €1.3bn, consolidates the third and fourth players in the Austrian market.

Estimates for December 2011 from Informa put the Orange Austria subscriber base at 2.16 million, and 3 at 1.31 million. The combined base of 3.483,700 will leave 3 in third place behind T-Mobile (3.99 million) and Telekom Austria’s Mobilkom (5.3 million), but with a fight for second place now a viable option. Austrian mobile penetration was 151 per cent at the close of last year, according to Informa’s WCIS Plus service.

Hutchison said that certain of the assets that it will acquire as part of the deal will be divested to Telekom Austria as soon as the deal is completed. The firm said that these would include “certain frequencies” and “base station sites,” as well as the Orange-operated discount MVNO Yesss!. Telekom will pay €390m for the assets, off-setting Hutchison’s purchase price.

The Hong Kong conglomerate is targeting synergies of at least €500m from the deal.

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