Orange completes VOO purchase

Orange MWC 2023

The Belgian division of telco group Orange has completed its acquisition of regional quad-play services operator VOO, following a lengthy competition investigation.

Technically, the deal will give Orange Belgium a 75% stake minus 1 share in VOO, with the remaining 25% plus one share retained by Nethys.

This transaction values VOO at €1.8 billion for 100% of the capital, and Orange Belgium will finance it through an intra-Group loan.

“For decades, we developed our telecom skills and pioneering spirit to challenge the market, but as from today, we have the industrial power, tech means and commercial scale to accelerate and Lead the Future of the Belgian telco market in the interest of all consumers, employees and society in general,” said Xavier Pichon, CEO of Orange Belgium.

Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, CEO Orange Europe added: “Today’s closing of our acquisition of VOO marks an important milestone – emboldening our convergence ambitions in Belgium. Convergence in Europe has proven to be key to our leadership in Europe and demonstrates how Orange’s new strategy, Lead the Future, will continue to meet the digital needs that our customers in Europe demand”.

The deal was first set out in late 2021, however at the time the European Commission expressed concerns that the purchase would reduce the number of operators from three to two in areas covered by VOO and Brutélé’s own fixed networks, reduce competition in the fixed Internet, audio-visual, and multi-play markets, and reduce retail price competition in the affected markets.

In order to alleviate these regulatory concerns, Orange agreed to provide Liberty Global’s Telenet with access to the existing fixed network infrastructure it would acquiring from VOO and Brutélé in the Walloon region and parts of Brussels, and to its own future FTTP network for at least 10 years.

Subsequently, the European Commission eventually approved the acquisition following a lengthy investigation in March.

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