According to Reuters, France’s incumbent telecommunications giant may be about to make an M&A move to its south. Orange is said to be readying a purchase of Spain’s alternative fixed line operator Jazztel in an effort to boost its prospects there, a move that analysts have expected for a while.
Following Vodafone’s move to purchase Ono, if consolidation on the Iberian peninsula is in the air then Jazztel would surely be the main target. Along with a national fiber backbone and 7,000+km of metro fiber, Jazztel has some 2.2M FTTH customers with a target of 3M by the end of this year.
Orange currently has a mobile presence in the country, but lags Vodafone and Telefonica in marketshare. Buying Jazztel wouldn’t add mobile marketshare, but it would give them a fiber infrastructure with which to boost their overall presence with consumers and augment the potential backhaul capabilities.
For its part, Jazztel was just rumored last week to be talking to Teliasonera about buying the latter’s Yoigo unit, which is Spain’s fourth wireless carrier. If Orange buys Jazztel, I wonder if they’ll also be looking at Yoigo.
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The bid was $4.4B, and was announced this morning. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/frances-orange-offers-4-4b-085304056.html