Orange holds close to 75% of Belgian unit

Orange has secured control of just under 75% of Orange Belgium shares after the closure of its initial offer period. Orange has been trying to acquire complete control of the Belgian company despite the opposition of some minority investors.

Orange said that the conditions of offer have been met and payment would be made on May 4. Shareholders representing 21.66% of the capital – out of Orange’s target of 46.1% – tendered their shares, taking Orange’s stake up to 74.68%.

Orange said it was reopening its offer at the same price of €22 a share from April 28 until May 4.

Orange had earlier declined to make an improved offer to acquire the shares in Orange Belgium that it does not already own, despite opposition from minority investors.

After Orange tabled the bid in early April, Polygon Global Partners, representing investors with a 5.29% stake in the operator, claimed that the offer substantially undervalued Orange Belgium on a standalone basis.

Orange Belgium offers a full range of multiplay services including TV and has been seen as a possible consolidator in the Belgian market. The company has in particular been a rival to Liberty Global-owned Telenet as a potential acquirer of Wallonia-region cable operator Voo.

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