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KPN places U.K. 3G stake for sale, posts record loss

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands-KPN Telecom has placed its U.K. third-generation stake up for sale in conjunction with reporting a record net loss in the second quarter. KPN Telecom, which owns 15 percent of Hutchison 3G in the United Kingdom, wrote down about $8.9 billion in assets, mainly due to its German mobile company E-Plus.

The Dutch operator posted a more than a $9 billion loss for the second quarter, but core profits beat forecasts, and KPN gave upbeat guidance for the year.

KPN took a charge of about $6.5 billion for E-Plus, with $3.8 billion for the license-nearly half the $8.2 billion it paid for the license-and $2.6 billion for goodwill.

KPN is selling its 3G stake in the United Kingdom because it is not a core asset, the company said. Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. owns 65 percent of the U.K. venture and is bullish on its October 3G launch date and growth prospects. NTT DoCoMo Inc. holds 20 percent of Hutchison 3G. KPN also owns 3G licenses in the Netherlands and Belgium.

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