Orange Belgium completes acquisition of majority stake in Voo

Orange voo

Orange Belgium has completed its acquisition of majority control of Wallonia-region cable operator Voo.

Orange now owns a 75%-minus-one-share stake in Voo, with the remaining 25% remaining with previous owner Nethys.

The agreement values Voo at €1.8 billion. Orange is financing the deal via an inter-group loan.

“For decades we have developed our telecom expertise and pioneering spirit to define the market. Today, under the tagline ‘Lead the Future’ we have at our disposal the industrial power, technological resources and commercial drive to accelerate and lead the future of the Belgian telecoms market to the profit of consumers, our employees and totality of the group,” said Orange Belgium CEO Xavier Pichon.

Completion of the deal follows EC approval in March. That decision followed an in-depth investigation of the acquisition of Voo and related operator Brutélé by Orange. The EC had been concerned about a reduction in the number of operators of fixed networks from three to two in the areas covered by Voo and Brutélé’s networks, and that it could significantly reduce competition in markets where Orange, Voo and Brutélé were close competitors.

To head off the concerns, Orange committed to provide rival Telenet, the main operator in the Flanders region of Belgium, with access to the existing fixed network infrastructure in the Wallonia region for 10 years, as well as access to Orange’s own fu8ture FTTP network, which it plans to roll out over the next few years.

The EC said that the remedies effectively replace Orange as principal access client on the Voo and Brutélé networks in the Walloon region and parts of Brussels, by Telenet, which will be the new principal client on those networks.

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