Altice buys Orange Dominicana for $1.4 billion

Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 28-11-2013

Orange has finally closed a deal to sell its Dominican Republic subsidiary, with the Luxembourg firm Altice paying $1.4 billion for it, according to Reuters.

"The deal brings important income to Orange, getting to sell an asset which is not central to the company," said an analyst from Espirito Santo bank.

Orange started the tender process in the summer in a move that surprised the industry. On 22 November, Stephane Richard, Orange's CEO, said four large companies had shown interest in purchasing Orange Dominicana for about €1 billion ($1.3 billion). Cable & Wireless, Digicel from Jamaica and the national group León Jimenes were said to be interested in buying the subsidiary.

While the French telco is looking to leave the Latin American market, Altice is trying to expand its TV, Internet, telephone and wireless business in the region. The telco has already purchased Tricom SA and Global Interlink in the Dominican Republic.

For its part, Orange is trying to abandon its secondary markets to focus on Europe. The French operator intends to invest some of the income received through this latest deal in Spain, Belgium, Poland and Romania, while also using the funds to reduce the group's debt.