The French telecommunications group Orange plans to make a takeover bid for the shares in Orange Belgium that it does not yet own. The Belgian telecommunications operator could disappear from the Brussels stock exchange after more than 22 years.
The French group currently owns just over half of Orange Belgium, formerly Mobistar. 39 percent of the shares are freely traded on the stock exchange. Orange would now like to receive all shares through a voluntary conditional public takeover offer, it said in a press release on Wednesday evening.
The process for the offer was initiated with the announcement. When the offer becomes official, the French are offering 22 euros per share. That is a bonus of 35.6 percent on the closing price on Wednesday of 16.22 euros. Orange itself calls the deal “very attractive”.
On the stock exchange since 1998
In a written reply, the Board of Directors of Orange Belgium announced that it has taken note of Orange’s announcement regarding the takeover offer. “The Board of Directors of Orange Belgium will meet as soon as possible to take note of the content of the offer and to examine it in accordance with the legal requirements,” it says.
Orange Belgium / Mobistar has been listed on the Brussels Stock Exchange since 1998. The majority shareholder Orange was then still called France Télécom. The Belgian company currently has a French CEO, Xavier Pichon. He has only held this position since September. The previous CEO, Michaël Trabbia, was also a Frenchman from the Orange group.