Eon sells ONE to F Telecom consortium

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Eon, the Germany utility group, off-loaded its last major non-core asset on Wednesday with the sale of its majority stake in Austrian mobile operator ONE to a consortium led by France Telecom.

Under the complex deal, which values ONE at about €1.4bn, France Telecom will end up with 35 per cent of the company, while Mid-Europa Partner, a private equity firm, will have a 65 per cent controlling stake.

For Eon, which is expected to book a profit of about €330m from the deal, the sale marks the group’s transformation into a pure energy group.

As part of its strategy to concentrate on energy and natural gas, the group has divested €60bn worth of non-core assets in recent years - including its real estate unit Viterra and Degussa, the specialty chemical maker.

ONE is Austria’s third largest mobile phone operator, with 3.6m customers and 22 per cent of the market.

For France Telecom, which already had a 17.45 per cent stake in one, the acquisition will allow it to strengthen its market position in western Europe and comes on the heel of its €320m acquisition of Ya.com, the Spanish internet service provider, earlier this month.

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