By Marietta Cauchi and Jessica Hodgson
Dutch telecom company Royal KPN NV (>> KPN KON) has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. (>> JPMorgan Chase & Co.) to sell its Belgian unit BASE, a person familiar with the situation told Dow Jones Newswires on Tuesday.
BASE has already attracted private equity interest, with Providence Equity Partners and Apax Partners among potential bidders.
Last week, KPN said it was considering a possible sale of its profitable Belgian mobile business BASE, as it looks for ways to turn around its flagging prospects.
The formal auction process hasn't yet started, but reports suggest that the business could be worth as much as EUR1.8 billion.
Other potential bidders include billionaire French entrepreneur Xavier Niel and John Malone's Liberty Global Inc. (LBTYA), which has previously bid for Orange Switzerland, the Swiss business sold by France Telecom (FTE) last year. Apax Partners won the auction.
- By Marietta Cauchi, and Jessica Hodgson, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 207 842 9241; firstname.lastname@example.org