Orange Belgium buys majority stake in VOO

Created January 2, 2022
News and Business

Orange Belgium has signed an agreement with Belgian industrial group Nethys, for a majority stake in multi-service provider VOO. VOO is a telecom operator that owns the cable network in the Walloon region and part of the Brussels region. It offers a portfolio of fixed and mobile telephony, broadband Internet and television services. With the acquisition, Orange Belgium will have a very high-speed network in Wallonia and part of Brussels, which will reinforce the deployment of its convergent strategy at national level.

The transaction, based on an enterprise value of €1.8 billion for 100% of the capital, gives Orange Belgium 75% less one share of VOO, with Nethys retaining a minority stake in VOO and governance rights to guarantee the implementation of the industrial and social project. Orange is offering Nethys the possibility of converting its stake in VOO into Orange Belgium shares to secure the development of VOO and Orange Belgium through further integration between the two companies.

Orange Belgium says the investment plan, consisting of cable modernisation and FTTH rollouts, and the pooling of the two companies’ skills will make it possible to ensure and strengthen the quality of VOO’s network in the long term, serving customers and the competitiveness of the Walloon and Brussels regions.

Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, executive vice president, Orange Europe Operations, said: “This acquisition reinforces Orange’s leadership in convergence in Europe and confirms the Group’s long-term commitment in Belgium. This operation is based on a strong industrial project, drawing on the complementary nature of Orange Belgium and VOO.”

Xavier Pichon, CEO of Orange Belgium, said: “25 years after the creation of Mobistar and five years after the launch of our first fixed-line offers, this operation reinforces the deployment of Orange Belgium’s convergent strategy at national level. Our investment plan will enable us to upgrade the network to multi-gigabit for the benefit of customers and the competitiveness of Wallonia and Brussels. The merger of Orange Belgium and VOO, two companies with highly complementary assets and skills, will benefit the employment and development of the employees of both companies.”

The transaction is subject to the usual conditions, including the approval of the European Commission, and is expected to be finalised in 2022. Until the deal is closed, the two companies will continue to operate independently.

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.