Funds advised by Apax Partners agree to sell Orange Switzerland to NJJ Capital
18 December 2014
London, UK - Funds advised by Apax Partners (“Apax”) today announced that they have agreed to sell Orange Communications SA (“Orange Switzerland”) to NJJ Capital, Xavier Niel’s private holding company, for a total transaction value of CHF 2.8 billion (€2.3 billion).The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approval and expected to complete by the end of Q1 2015.
Orange Switzerland is one of the leading mobile operators in Switzerland. The announced sale is expected to generate strong returns for the Apax Funds. Under the Apax Funds’ ownership since 2012, Orange Switzerland has carried out a number of initiatives that have transformed the company into a more efficient and future-proof business while driving EBITDA growth. Of note, over the last three years, it has successfully modernised its IT systems, launched its 4G commercial services, now reaching over 90 per cent of the Swiss population, and expanded its store network with 8 store openings in 2014, including a flagship store in Zurich.
Gabriele Cipparrone, Partner at Apax Partners, commented: “Orange Switzerland has been a major and very successful investment for the Apax Funds. We are proud to have been an important part of the company’s development in the last three years, supporting Johan and his team in their successful drive to modernise the company. We have no doubt that NJJ Capital is the right new partner for the company as they embark on the next stage of the company’s journey and continue as a major challenger in the Swiss mobile market.”
Johan Andsjo, CEO of Orange Switzerland, commented: “We would like to thank Apax for their support since 2012. They have been really instrumental in leading the company’s modernisation efforts and its organisational transformation. The strategy is already generating significant benefits for the company and all of our customers. Of course, none of these achievements would have been possible without the support of each and every employee in the past three years, who we would also like to thank. We now look forward to making further advances under NJJ Capital’s ownership.”
Xavier Niel, Founder and CEO of NJJ Capital, added: “Since 2012, when Orange Switzerland was acquired by the Apax Funds, my team and I have followed very closely all the developments at the company. We have witnessed the successful transformation at Orange Switzerland under Apax’s leadership. As the new owner of Orange Switzerland, NJJ Capital will provide continuity to Orange Switzerland’s customers, employees and management. NJJ Capital is a long-term strategic investor, owned and operated by telecom professionals with proven track record whose goal will be to share and exchange best practices with Orange Switzerland management. Finally, my utmost priority will be to operate Orange Switzerland in the future in accordance with the Swiss environment and customs always in mind.”
Advisers to Apax included Credit Suisse (M&A), Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Legal), Bär & Karrer Ltd. (Legal) and PwC (Accounting).
Advisers to NJJ Capital included Lazard (M&A), BNP Paribas (M&A), Niederer Kraft & Frey (Legal), Shearman & Sterling (Legal), MNKS (Legal) and KPMG (Accounting).
About Apax Partners
Apax is one of the world's leading private equity firms. It operates globally and has more than 30 years of investing experience. Apax has advised funds that have invested over €30 billion around the world in aggregate. Funds advised by Apax invest in companies across four global sectors of Consumer, Healthcare, Services and Technology & Telecommunications. These funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. In the Technology & Telecommunications sector, funds advised by Apax have a successful track record, having invested more than €5.8 billion in buyouts with recent investments including GlobalLogic, Paradigm, Epicor Software Corporation and iGATE. For further information about Apax, please visit www.apax.com
About Orange Switzerland
Orange Communications SA (“Orange Switzerland” or “Orange”) is the challenger in the Swiss mobile market. Orange stands for exceptional service and says ‘You bet you can’ to its customers as often as we can. Only Orange permanently offers its 2,141 million customers the fastest internet connection, including 4G+ with up to 300 Mbit/s, at no extra cost. The Orange mobile network is ‘VERY GOOD’ and according to Connect magazine (January 2015 review), Orange offers the best mobile network and the best connection speed on board trains. Only with Orange Me, customers are able to adapt their subscription according to their needs. Only Orange offers its business customers a personal adviser together with efficiency-enhancing integrated mobile and fixed line network solutions. Orange has 871 employees (FTE) and is present with 87 Orange Centers and with more than 2700 outlets across Switzerland.
About NJJ Capital
NJJ Capital is Xavier Niel's private holding company, incorporated in France. NJJ Capital holds various stakes in a broad range of companies in Europe and the USA.
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