Orange says public offer for Spain's Jazztel successful
Orange said Friday that its 3.4 billion euro ($3.7 billion) public offer for shares in Spanish operator Jazztel had been a success, sealing the French telecoms giant's biggest acquisition in a decade.
"The Spanish National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) announced today that shareholders representing 94.75 percent of Jazztel's total share capital have accepted Orange's offer," it said in a statement.
Orange, which already has a unit in Spain, announced its plan to acquire Jazztel last September, but only received approval from European regulators last month after convincing them that consolidating operators in the country from four to three would not harm competition, and by agreeing to sell off some assets.
Positive response to the offer of 13 euros per share means a disbursement of 3.179 billion euros for Orange, which should be settled on July 1.
Having acquired sufficient shares, Orange said it would use its right to acquire the remaining 5.25 percent of the company's stock for 176 million euros, and delist Jazztel from the Madrid exchange.
"Orange is very satisfied with this result, which will enable Orange Spain and Jazztel to build together the most dynamic convergent player on the Spanish market," it said.
"By gaining control of Jazztel, the Orange Group will benefit from the expected synergies resulting from the merger," it added.
Jazztel's 1.5 million broadband subscribers will allow Orange to offer combined high-speed Internet, TV, fixed-line and mobile telephone packages alongside Telefonica and Vodafone.
Synergies have been estimated at least 1.3 billion euros. A maximum of 400 jobs are expected to be eliminated as part of the merger.
Active in 29 countries with 247 million clients, Orange is a major global telecoms player -- generating 39 billion sales last year, and employing 155,000 people worldwide.
Spain is Orange's second-biggest market, accounting for about 10 percent of the group's revenue.
© 2015 AFP