The municipal shareholders of Enodia, parent company of Wallonian utility firm Nethys, have approved the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Brussels-based cable operator BruTele, with which it markets services under the common VOO brand. Almost 90% of the votes cast supported the takeover, which is expected to pave the way for a sale of VOO later this year. ‘This is an internal operation in the public sector which constitutes a preliminary but necessary step for the opening of VOO’s capital to a strategic partner by the end of 2021 or early 2022, according to the current estimated schedule,’ Enodia noted in a press release.
Formed in April 2006, VOO technically comprises municipality-owned cable operators in the two regions, with BruTele and Nethys retaining operational control of the smaller companies, all of which operate under the VOO banner. Nethys previously agreed a deal to sell VOO to private equity group Providence in May 2019, although the sale was suspended later that year following press reports that VOO’s management may have had a conflict of interest, while BruTele’s management also claimed it had not been fully informed of the agreement. A Belgian court subsequently suspended a second deal struck between the two companies in December 2019, ruling it to be fraudulent and not in the public interest.