Orange Belgium Buys $1.5 Billion Stake in Telecom Operator Voo
Orange Belgium is purchasing an almost 75% stake in Voo SA, a telecom and cable operator in Wallonia and the Brussels region, the Orange Group subsidiary announced in a statement Friday.
The transaction gives the entire company an enterprise value of 1.8 billion euros ($2 billion), at a price that is 9.5 times Voo’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and synergies, according to the statement.
“This acquisition reinforces Orange’s leadership in convergence in Europe”, said Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Executive Vice President for Orange Europe Operations, quoted in the statement. Orange said this year that it was actively looking at M&A options across Europe.
Voo, owned by regional telecom firm Nethys SA, runs the cable network in the Walloon region and part of the Brussels region, and offers fixed and mobile telephony, broadband internet and television services.
Nethys will retain a minority stake. The closing of the deal is expected in 2022, after the approval of the European Commission.
The deal is likely to strengthen competition on the regional market. Erhan Gurses, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, previously said in a research note that it ”could result in stronger convergence, as well as an infrastructure threat to Telenet and Proximus,” local competitors.
A previous attempt to sell Voo to Providence Equity Partners was blocked by a commercial court in Liege in April, according to a report from L’Echo.
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