Orange Group has launched its conditional voluntary public takeover bid for all the shares it does not already own in Orange Belgium. Despite calls from some minority shareholders to increase its offer price, the French group has maintained a cash offer of EUR22 (USD26.16) per share. According to the proposed schedule, the takeover bid offer will be open from 8 April to 23 April inclusive and the results will be published on 27 April. If the conditions are met, Orange SA intends to delist the Orange Belgium shares.
Orange Belgium is currently 52.91% owned by Orange Group via holding company Atlas Services Belgium (ASB), with investment management firms Polygon Global Partners and Boussard & Gavaudan having stakes of 5% and 3% respectively. Polygon has argued that the offer, which represented a 35.6% premium on Orange Belgium’s share price at the time of the announcement in December 2020, substantially undervalues the company and its infrastructure. It contends that a fair price that reflects the potential value created by the sale of the operator’s mobile towers and masts could be as high as EUR45 per share.