mmO2 to sell Dutch asset?

16 Jan 2003

Reports in the British press suggest that discussions over the sale of mmO2’s [OOM.L] Dutch operations are continuing apace. The British cellco is believed to be under pressure from shareholders to rid itself of those operations least likely to attain profitability, particularly those in the Netherlands but possibly also in Germany. The Netherlands is home to one of the most competitive mobile markets in Europe, with five players competing for subscribers. O2 is the second smallest player, with just 1.29 million customers, or 10.5% of the market, at the end of September 2002. KPN Mobile takes the lion’s share with 42% of customers, followed by Vodafone (27%) and Ben (12%). The smallest operator is Dutchtone (Orange) with 8.5% of the market (1.02 million customers). Vodafone and T-Mobile’s Ben are speculated to be the two most likely purchasers of O2 Netherlands; the business is expected to be valued at between EUR100 million and EUR300 million.