Hutch says EC progress slow on Austria deal

16 Aug 2012

Hutchison Whampoa has said it is making ‘painfully slow’ progress with the European Commission (EC) regarding its Austrian unit H3G Austria’s proposed EUR1.3 billion (USD1.6 billion) acquisition of rival cellco Orange Austria, reports Reuters. Hutchison’s managing director Canning Fok has said that the EC was pushing the company to give better terms to Orange, and added this demand was unacceptable. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, France Telecom-Orange entered into a binding agreement with its co-shareholder Mid Europa Partners (MEP) for the sale of their combined 100% stake in Orange Austria to H3G in February 2012. The deal also involves H3G offloading around 3,000 of Orange’s 5,000 base stations, surplus frequencies in the 2.1GHz spectrum band, and Orange’s wholly-owned Yesss! mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) unit to A1 Telekom Austria immediately after the transaction.

Austria, CK Hutchison, Hutchison Drei Austria, Orange Austria