France Telecom will pay $850 mil for Holland's second-largest outfit
AMSTERDAM — France Telecom has agreed to pay $850 million to acquire Casema, which at 1.1 million connections is Holland’s second-biggest cable company.The transaction is expected to be completed in the next few days, according to a spokesman from Dutch telecom and postal group KPN, which owns Casema. KPN was ordered by the Dutch government nearly a year ago to reduce its 77% share in Casema to 20% if it wanted to be a candidate for a telephony license. It has chosen instead to sell up. France Telecom also is in the running for a telephony license in Holland and its ownership of Casema is likely to make it KPN’s strongest competitor. Casema was the largest cable company in Holland until mid-November, when UPC (United & Philips Communications) Nederland inked an agreement to merge with Telekabel, a subsidiary of Dutch energy company Nuon, to create United Telekabel Holding, which boasts 1.3 million subscribers.