Tele2 of Sweden has announced that it is acquiring Dutch alternative operator BBNed from Telecom Italia (TI) for around SEK475 million (USD64.8 million) on a cash and debt free basis. The deal is expected to complete following approval from competition authorities in the Netherlands. BBNed provides fixed telephony and broadband internet to the Dutch retail, business and wholesale segments. Consumer services are marketed under the Alice and InternNL.net banners and BBNed also operates in the business market with its BBeyond brand. In FY2009 BBNed booked revenue of USD110.5 million and EBITDA of USD17.7 million, and had a roughly 2.6% market share in the retail broadband segment as at 31 March 2010.
Commenting on the takeover Henrik Ringmar, Tele2’s market area director for Western Europe, said: ‘I am very pleased that we were able to enter into an agreement with Telecom Italia about the acquisition of BBNed. This is a great opportunity for Tele2 to strengthen our Dutch business and benefit from bigger scale in our operations.’
Telecom Italia put BBned up for sale at the end of 2008, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. Its future became less certain in April 2010 however, when TI effectively relegated its Dutch venture to ‘other’ in reporting its annual results for 2009. The Italians presented their strategic plan for 2010/12, alongside the publication of annual results for 2009 – albeit that the results were delayed due to the ongoing investigation into alleged fraud at the operator’s unit Sparkle. TI reiterated its desire to sell some non-core assets, including its activities in the Netherlands.