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Nethys and Telenet make separate moves on Brutélé

Belgian industrial concern Nethys is moving to consolidate the Brutélé intercommunal cable network that operates services co-owned with Nethys under the Voo brand after Telenet made a new offer for the outfit, according to Belgian newspaper L’Echo.

According to L’Echo, which also reported news of Telenet’s bid, Liége-based Nethys’s board voted last week to make an offer to Brutélé that CEO Stéphane Moreau said that was unconnected to Telenet’s offer.

According to the paper, Nethys is seeking a meeting with Brutélé to discuss the network’s future. According to L’Echo, an agreement between the pair dating from 2006 includes a right of pre-emption for Nethys.

L’Echo earlier reported that Telenet had made an offer to Brutélé in a move that would see it expand its reach in Brussels following its earlier acquisition of SFR Belux in 2016.

Brutélé’s network covers six communes in Brussels and 24 in the French-speaking Wallonian region of Belgium.

Telenet’s move to take control of Brutélé follows earlier expressions of interest by its CEO John Porter in acquiring Voo, something that is opposed by Nethys.

Orange Belgium also earlier expressed a strong interest in acquiring Voo, prompting Nethys to say that the company is not for sale.

According to Flemish-language paper Die Standaard, Belgian telecommunications minister Alexander de Croo has said that a takeover of Brutélé by Telenet could create a duopoly in the telecom sector and has called for spectrum licensing to make space for a fourth mobile player in the Belgian market, a plan that is strongly opposed by existing telecom players including Telenet.