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Orange in talks to buy Business & Decision stake
Posted on Friday, 19 May 2017 14:58
French telecommunications firm Orange has revealed it has entered exclusive discussions over the potential acquisition of a 67.0 per cent stake in Euronext-listed consulting and systems integration player Business & Decision.

Under the terms of the proposed deal, the buyer will pay a maximum of EUR 7.93 in cash per item of stock in the target, thereby valuing the transaction at up to EUR 20.63 million.

The offer price represents a 4.0 per cent discount over Business & Decision’s close of EUR 8.26 on 17th May, the last trading day prior to the announcement.

Orange said the move is in line with its plans to position itself as a world leader in the data services value chain and a global player in digital transformation.

The firm added that its existing presence in the data governance and analysis fields will be significantly strengthened as a consequence.

Before a deal is made official it must first be cleared with the employee representative bodies of Business & Decision and Orange’s Network Related Services subsidiary. Completion will require the nod from competition authorities and is expected to follow during Q3 2017.

If the purchase of the initial 67.0 per cent holding is successful Orange intends to bid for the balance of the business on the same terms.

Business & Decision employs 2,500 people and claims to be a leader in the business intelligence and customer relationship management fields.

The firm posted revenue of EUR 58.60 million in the opening quarter of 2017, marking a slight decline on the EUR 59.50 million generated over the corresponding timeframe in 2016.

Other providers of computer systems design and related services to have been targeted during 2017 to date include Readsoft, Kofax and Perceptive Software, which Thoma Bravo agreed to pick up for a combined USD 1.50 billion earlier this month.

According to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, that represents the sector’s largest deal to have been announced during the year to date.

Others to have been targeted since the beginning of January include Fujitsu, NARI Technology Development and Double Down Interactive.

© Zephus Ltd