Liberty Global's Telenet snaps up Belgian telecoms firm Base from KPN in €1bn deal

Lynsey Barber
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KPN sells mobile operator Base to Liberty Global's Telenet (Source: Getty)

Liberty Global has snapped up a Belgian rival for €1.3bn (£938.5m).

The US cable owner's Belgian subsidiary Telenet will buy Base, Belgium's third-largest mobile operator, to expand its mobile and fixed line business in the country.

The all-cash buyout will end a deal for network capacity with the country's second largest mobile network Mobistar, but Liberty said it will continue with such MVNO deals elsewhere in Europe.

“We fully support Telenet’s acquisition of Base, which represents a cost-effective and unique opportunity to expand Telenet’s mobile and fixed business in Belgium," said Liberty Global boss Mike Fries.

"Not surprisingly, the synergies are substantial and the price at 4.2 times operating cash flow is highly accretive to shareholders. Given Telenet’s scale in Belgium it can absorb the smaller Base business quickly and efficiently. Elsewhere in Europe we will continue to focus primarily on our existing MVNO arrangements and rapidly developing wifi networks to provide seamless mobile voice and data services to our customers.”

Liberty expects to spend a further €240m on integrating the two businesses and Telenet will fund the deal through €1bn of refinancing and existing liquidity.

Telenet has just under 1m mobile subscribers while Base boasts 3.3m and adjusted revenue of €690m.

It's the latest in a series of deals in the European mobile telecoms sector.

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