Orange acquires French consulting firm Business & Decision

27 October 2017 2 min. read

Orange Business Services has agreed to acquire a majority stake of the capital of Business & Decision, an international consulting and systems integration group. The acquisition aims to strengthen Orange’s activities as a data services integrator and operator in France and internationally.

The signature of a contract between Network Related Services (an Orange Group subsidiary) and the majority shareholders of French consultancy Business & Decision has been confirmed. Orange had announced it was entering exclusive negotiations to acquire a controlling stake in Business & Decision, an international consulting and systems integration group, back in May 2017. It made an initial valuation of Business & Decision at €62.5 million, beginning bidding for control of the group with the hope the acquisition would reinforce Orange Business Services’ leadership as an operator and integrator of data services in France and abroad.

Orange aimed to take about 67% of Business & Decision, a company listed on Euronext Paris, from the majority shareholders, the Bensabat family and Christophe Dumoulin. In the end, the group have settled for a more modest 63.98%, yet that is still enough to gain a majority hold on the firm. The acquisition of a majority stake will be made in cash, on the basis of a maximum price of €7.93 per share. The transaction is subject to the approval of the relevant competition authorities and the closing of share transfers regarding certain subsidiaries within the Business & Decision group.

Orange buys Business & Decision

Following the acquisition of this majority interest, Orange will file an extended proposal for a simplified takeover bid of €7.93 per share, in order to snap up all of the remaining shares it does not already hold in Business & Decision. This offer is pending approval by the French Market Authorities (AMF) and the appointment of an independent expert as required by article 261-1 of the authority’s general regulations. This price represents a premium of 34% on top of the average share price over the 12-month period preceding negotiations.

Thierry Bonhomme, Orange Group’s deputy CEO in charge of Orange Business Services, said, “Business & Decision and Orange Business Services share a genuine digital culture based on common skill sets, while offering complementary catalogues of services to their customers.”

Christophe Dumoulin, managing director of Business & Decision, added, “This operation is perfectly in line with the realization of our strategic objectives around our two key offerings: data and digital services. It is an opportunity for Business & Decision and its teams to deploy our expertise in new markets in France and internationally, and to continue to invest and innovate in data-driven technologies.”