Belgian cable operator Telenet has agreed to acquire the mobile operator Base from KPN for EUR 1.325 billion. The sale price is equal to 8.9 times Base’s EBITDA last year. Telenet is already a successful MVNO in Belgium with 895,000 customers at the end of 2014, and with Base, it acquires its own mobile network infrastructure. Base has around 3.3 million customers, good for 21 percent of the market at the end of 2014.
Telenet said it will raise around EUR 1 billion in debt to help finance the takeover as well as invest EUR 240 million in Base in the coming years. The company expects to realise around EUR 150 million in annual synergies from the takeover, thanks to savings on operational costs and investments and migrating its mobile customers to the Base network from Mobistar.
For KPN, the sale marks the end of its international activities, and the company will now focus exclusively on its home market the Netherlands. Closing of the sale still requires approval from competition authorities, and KPN agreed a EUR 100 million break-up fee with Telenet if the deal does not receive clearance. KPN said it will use the proceeds from the sale to “create value for its shareholders”, with more details to be announced later.
This marks the first acquisition of a mobile operator by Telenet’s parent company Liberty Global. In a statement, Liberty said it will continue to focus on MVNOs and Wi-Fi services in order to provide mobile access in its other markets.