December 18, 2014 / 10:50 AM / 5 years ago

Telecoms tycoon Niel to buy Orange Switzerland for $2.9 billion

PARIS (Reuters) - Telecoms tycoon Xavier Niel’s NJJ Capital has agreed to buy Swiss mobile operator Orange Switzerland from private equity group Apax Partners for 2.8 billion Swiss francs ($2.9 billion), Apax said in a statement.

The deal, struck through his NJJ Capital personal holding company, marks a new turn for Niel.

He triggered a price war in France through the launch of Free, a bundled telecoms and TV offering, by his 55 percent-owned listed company Iliad (ILD.PA), but he had to abandon in October his attempt to enter the American market when the owners of T-Mobile TMUS.N US rejected his offer.

Reporting by Andrew Callus; editing by Blaise Robinson

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