Orange today announces the signature of a contract between Network Related Services (an Orange Group subsidiary) and the majority shareholders of Business & Decision (the Bensabat family) concerning the acquisition of 63.98% of the capital of the company.
This acquisition project, which was announced on 18 May 2017, has led to the launch of an information and consultative procedure with employee representative bodies of Network Related Services and of Business & Decision.
The acquisition of a majority stake would be made in cash on the basis of a maximum price of 7.93 euros per share. The transaction is subject to the approval of the relevant competition authorities and the closing of share transfers regarding certain subsidiaries within the Business & Decision group.
Following the acquisition of this majority interest, Orange will file a proposed simplified takeover bid at 7.93 euros per share covering all of the shares it does not already hold in Business & Decision. This offer is pending approval by the French Market Authorities (AMF) and the appointment of an independent expert as required by article 261-1 of the authority’s general regulations. This price represents a premium of 34% compared to the average share price over the 12-month period preceding the announcement of exclusive negotiations.
This acquisition is part of the development strategy of Orange Business Services as a global player in the digital transformation and a leader across the value chain of data services.
“The acquisition of Business & Decision and of its expertise in business intelligence and data science will significantly strengthen Orange Business Services’ operations in data analysis and governance in France and internationally, and will strengthen our knowledge of our customers' businesses, a key lever for accelerating the digital transformation of our enterprise customers,” explains Thierry Bonhomme, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Orange Group in charge of Orange Business Services.
“Business & Decision’s staff and customers will benefit from the extent of Orange Business Services’ skills as operator and integrator in the Internet of Things, cloud computing, cybersecurity and applications development, as well as from the global reach of its marketing and sales network to support multinationals throughout the world. Business & Decision’s values, that were so dear to the company’s founder Patrick Bensabat, are focused on the respect of employees and clients. These same values will now contribute to the success of Orange while providing all the expertise and skills of its teams”, says Jean-Louis Didier, Chairman and CEO of Business & Decision.
The deal is expected to close early 2018.
Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 40,9 billion euros in 2016 and 153,000 employees worldwide at 30 June 2017, including 94,000 employees in France. Present in 29 countries, the Group has a total customer base of 269 million customers worldwide at 30 June 2017, including 207 million mobile customers and 19 million fixed broadband customers. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. In March 2015, the Group presented its new strategic plan “Essentials2020” which places customer experience at the heart of its strategy with the aim of allowing them to benefit fully from the digital universe and the power of its new generation networks.
Orange is listed on Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN).
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About Business & Decision
Business & Decision, a global consulting and systems integration group, is a leader in Business Intelligence (BI) and CRM, and a major player in e-Business. The Group leverages a unique combination of technical, functional and industry specialisation, as well as partnerships with all of the key software vendors, to deliver maximum-value projects and help clients break through barriers to innovation such as Big Data and digital transformation. Business & Decision operates in 12 countries and employs over 2,500 people in France and worldwide.
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