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France Telecom confirms US$37bn acquisition of Orange
Posted: 30-May-2000 [Source: FT]

[France Telecom announced an agreement today to purchase Orange from Vodafone for US$37 billion leaving Vodafone with needed cash to pay for 3G spectrum licenses and infrastructure initiatives.]

By Fiona Harvey and Ben Hunt -- "France Telecom on Tuesday said it had agreed to buy UK mobile phone operator Orange for 25.1bn pounds ($37.3bn) in a cash and share deal from Vodafone AirTouch.

"Orange is to be grouped with France Telecom's existing mobile operations, in a new company labeled "New Orange" by the parties. As expected Hans Snook, Orange's chief executive, and Graham Howe, finance director, will run the company, which will retain the Orange name.

"France Telecom has said it would look to float a minority stake in the new company in London, Paris and New York late this year or early next.

"John Tysoe, telecoms analyst at WestLB Panmure, said: "This puts France Telecom at the top of the second division of telecoms players."

"He said the acquisition left France Telecom with a strong customer base across Europe, and gave Vodafone an impressive balance sheet with which to proceed in buying third generation mobile phone licences.

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