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November 26, 2009

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French, Danes look to team on Swiss telecom

FRANCE Telecom said yesterday it will pay 1.5 billion euros (US$2.3 billion) to Danish telecom group TDC as part of a deal to merge their respective operations in Switzerland.

France Telecom's Orange Switzerland will merge with Sunrise Communications of TDC to build "the leading nationwide alternative provider" of telecom services in the country. Rival Swisscom is the market leader.

France Telecom said in a statement that it will become a 75 percent shareholder and TDC will hold the rest.

The new tie-up would unite 3.4 million mobile customers and 1.1 million fixed-line and broadband customers, with annual pro forma revenues of 3.1 billion Swiss francs (US$3 billion) last year. If cleared by regulatory and antitrust authorities, the deal is expected to close by February.

France Telecom shares were up 1.47 percent at 17.30 euros in yesterday morning trading in Paris.



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