KPN sees strong interest for Belgian operation BASE

10 Aug 2012

Reuters reports that KPN Telecom (or Royal KPN), the beleaguered Dutch telecom operator in the sights of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu, has attracted a number of interested bidders for the proposed sale of its Belgian fixed and mobile unit BASE, which could help it raise up to EUR1.7 billion (USD2.1 billion) – deemed crucial to cutting its debt. Unconfirmed sources familiar with the situation say that the likes of private equity groups Blackstone, Providence and Cinven have all submitted non-binding offers for BASE, along with Belgium media group De Persgroep and local cableco Telenet. KPN is hoping to find a buyer for BASE by September, but has confirmed that the sale could be called off if no satisfactory bid is received. Adding to KPN’s problems, Carlos Slim’s America Movil – which is the new 28% shareholder in the Dutch telco – has also expressed its preference to keep BASE under KPN’s wing.

Belgium, Netherlands, BASE Company, KPN