France’s Orange to bid for outstanding shares in Belgian business

Adds details on offer, dividend

PARIS, Dec 2 (Reuters)French telecoms group Orange ORAN.PA said on Wednesday it was planning a bid for the shares it does not already own in Orange Belgium OBEL.BR, in an offer worth around 620 million euros ($751 million), as it uses up funds recouped from a tax dispute.

Orange also said in a separate statement that its board was considering an extraordinary dividend of 0.20 euros per share for 2020 as it deploys the 2.2 billion euros it recovered after a French court ruling that settled its tax spat.

The cash offer of 22 euros per share to buy out the stock it does not already own in Orange Belgium was a 35.6% premium compared to the closing price on Dec. 2, Orange said.

It already owns 52.9% of Orange Belgium and could possibly delist the firm, depending on the response to its offer.

The company said the board of Orange Belgium was aware of the plan and would carry out an assessment of the proposed offer.

A buyout would allow Orange Belgium greater financial flexibility and room to work on its long-term strategy, especially if it were no longer listed, Orange said.

($1 = 0.8253 euros)

(Reporting by Sarah White and Nicolas Delame; Editing by Leslie Adler and Paul Simao)

(([email protected]; + 33 (0) 1 49 49 56 85;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Source Article