France Telecom (FT) is reported to be considering plans to offload its Dutch mobile subsidiary Orange Netherlands. According to people familiar with the situation, FT has appointed an investment bank to oversee the sale which it is thought will attract significant interest from strategic and financial investors. Orange is the fourth largest player in the Dutch mobile market with an 11.97% market share at the end of September 2006, behind KPN Mobile (50.45%), Vodafone (22.92%) and T-Mobile (14.67%).
Dutch incumbent KPN will probably be barred from bidding for the unit on competition grounds, though Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile unit is seen by some as a potential buyer. Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad has quoted analysts as saying that Orange Netherlands could be worth as much as EUR800 million to EUR850 million (USD1.04 billion to USD1.1 billion).