France’s Orange Group is reported to have begun discussions with a number of potential buyers for parts of the fibre-optic network belonging to acquisition target Jazztel, according to Reuters. It is understood that Orange has agreed to divest the fibre infrastructure owned by the alternative operator as part of its efforts to gain regulatory approval for its purchase of Jazztel. To that end, Nicolas Laederich, an executive who handles regulatory affairs and competition issues for the French group, was cited as saying that this sell-off would be paired with a promise to rent out capacity on the company’s fixed network to whoever buys the fibre assets.
According to Laederich, around 720,000 fibre connections that Jazztel has installed in five cities including Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia are expected to be sold, with the company acquiring these to gain the right to piggyback on the combined Orange Espana/Jazztel fixed network via a wholesale agreement so as to be able offer broadband nationally. ‘We have already had contacts with several interested parties,’ the executive was cited as saying of the matter.