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Orange Said to Study Sale of Spanish Phone Towers

Orange SA, France’s largest phone company, is considering the sale of its mobile-phone towers in neighboring Spain as it struggles with falling revenue, a person with knowledge of the plan said.

Orange has contacted phone-tower operators to weigh their interest in the assets, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the process isn’t public. A final decision on whether the sale goes ahead will hinge on the interest shown by potential buyers, the person said.

The French carrier is seeking to reduce costs by more than 300 million euros ($400 million) this year to stem the effect of years of price wars in its home market. In Spain, the carrier is fighting to hold on to market share in mobile and Internet services after Vodafone Group Plc agreed in March to buy Grupo Corporativo ONO SA for 7.2 billion euros, a deal that makes Vodafone the second-largest carrier in the country, behind Telefonica SA.

A representative for Paris-based Orange declined to comment.

Orange is seeking to sell about 9,400 towers, or 53 percent of its Spanish network, Madrid-based newspaper Expansion reported today, without saying how it obtained the information. The towers are all fully owned by Orange, the paper said. The rest of the company’s tower network in the country is jointly owned with partners, the paper reported.

Abertis Infraestructuras SA agreed in August 2013 to buy at least 4,227 mobile-phone towers from Telefonica SA and TeliaSonera AB’s Spanish unit Yoigo for 385 million euros.

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