Belgium’s former monopoly telco Belgacom has agreed to buy the Luxembourg and Liechtenstein divisions of Swedish telecoms group Tele2 for around EUR210 million (USD330 million), subject to approval from anti-trust authorities. Tele2 Luxembourg provides mobile, fixed line and DSL broadband services under the Tango brand, and at the end of March 2008 had 238,000 mobile users, 10,000 broadband subscribers and 26,000 fixed telephony accesses. Tele2 Liechtenstein also offers its services under the Tango brand, and had less than 10,000 mobile subscribers at the end of March 2008, whilst it also offers fixed line and DSL services. Belgacom, which leads Belgium’s wireline, broadband and mobile (via Proximus) markets, and is present in Luxembourg as an alternative corporate telecoms provider, said it anticipates cost savings of at least EUR25 million from the acquisitions. The Brussels-based telco intends to retain the Tango brand in Luxembourg and Liechtenstein whilst further penetrating the corporate market by leveraging its existing ICT business Telindus Luxembourg.
Tele2 announced separately that it will book a second-quarter impairment loss of around SEK1 billion (USD165 million) on a revaluation of its units in Germany and Poland, with Germany accounting for SEK700 million of the write-down. The Stockholm-based group has recently retreated from a series of markets to focus on its core Scandinavian operations and Russian mobile business. During 2007 Tele2 divested units in Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Hungary, before completing the sale of its Austrian MVNO operations to Telekom Austria in Q1 2008, and an exit from Germany is rumoured to be next on the cards.