Wednesday, July 27, 2005

France Telecom Buys Spain's Amena

France Telecom announced its biggest acquisition in more than four years on Wednesday, paying 6.4 billion euros ($7.72 billion) in cash for control of Spain's third-biggest mobile operator, Amena.

France Telecom is to buy 80 percent of Amena in a deal that it said valued the whole company at 10.6 billion euros, including debt.

Freed from the shackles of debt restructuring and cost-cutting, France Telecom had just lifted a 500-million-euro ceiling on the price of potential targets last month.

Europe's second-largest telecoms company in terms of sales said it would pay for Amena with 3.4 billion of cash, to be financed by new debt or existing resources, and by the issue of 3 billion euros worth of shares.

Amena is part of Spain's second-largest telecoms group, Auna, whose main investors include Endesa, Union Fenosa SA and bank Santander.

The deal comes as Auna shareholders are finalising the sale of Auna's cable unit to rival Ono, valuing the unit at 2.2 billion euros, Santander Chief Executive Alfredo Saenz said.
Shares in France Telecom rose as much as 2.5 percent on Wednesday and were up 1.4 percent at 24.72 euros at 1455 GMT.

The Amena transaction marks a further pick-up in telecoms mergers and acquisitions, coming fresh on the heels of Eircom's takeover of Ireland's third-biggest wireless operator, Meteor, for 420 million euros via a share issue.


Post a Comment

<< Home