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NJJ Capital to buy Orange
Posted on Thursday, 18 December 2014 14:41
Apax Partners has agreed to sell Switzerland-based Orange Communications to NJJ Capital for CHF 2.80 billion (USD 2.86 billion).

Subject to the usual raft of approvals the deal is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2015.

The transaction will generate strong returns for Apax, which acquired Orange in 2012.

Xavier Niel, chief executive of the buyer, said: “As the new owner of Orange Switzerland, NJJ Capital will provide continuity to Orange Switzerland’s customers, employees and management.”

The investor was advised by Lazard, BNP Paribas and Niederer Kraft & Frey, while Apax received assistance from Credit Suisse and Simpson Thatch & Bartlett, among others.

Niel is aiming to expand NJJ Capital’s operations across Europe, Dow Jones Business news reported.

Orange entered the Swiss market in June 1999 as the country’s third mobile operator.

The group’s products and services reach over 90.0 per cent of the population and it has expanded its operations with eight new store openings in 2014, which includes a flagship location in Zurich.

Orange has more than 200 retail outlets across Switzerland.

The company generated revenues of CHF 933.40 million in the nine months ended 30th September 2014, a 3.2 per cent increase on CHF 964.30 million in the corresponding period of 2013.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose 1.2 per cent to CHF 309.30 million in the first three quarters of 2014 (Q1-Q3 2013: CHF 305.60 million).

Orange had 2.14 million customers as of 30th September 2014.

Apax acquired the company through its Matterhorn Mobile subsidiary in February 2012 for CHF 2.00 billion.

Prior to takeover Orange was owned by Orange SA, which was named France Télécom at that time.

The France-based telecommunications giant’s latest sale was for its 95.0 per cent stake in Orange Uganda to Africell Gambia for an undisclosed amount in May.

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