FTE.F - Orange S.A.

Frankfurt - Frankfurt Delayed Price. Currency in EUR
10.98
+0.27 (+2.47%)
At close: 7:18PM CEST
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Previous Close10.71
Open11.04
Bid10.82 x 414000
Ask10.90 x 796100
Day's Range10.91 - 11.04
52 Week Range9.02 - 15.23
Volume3,272
Avg. Volume16,765
Market Cap30.007B
Beta (5Y Monthly)0.33
PE Ratio (TTM)10.73
EPS (TTM)1.02
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & Yield0.70 (6.54%)
Ex-Dividend DateJun 02, 2020
1y Target EstN/A
  • Bloomberg

    After Scrapping Mobile World Congress, Organizer Offers Refunds

    (Bloomberg) -- The organizer of the world’s biggest mobile technology conference, MWC 2020 in Barcelona, will offer refunds or discounts to future gatherings to the tens of thousands of attendees and companies that had paid to attend February’s canceled event.MWC was an early major casualty of the coronavirus pandemic, and it had never been scrapped in its 33-year history. By removing it from the calendar, telecom heavyweights lost a significant opportunity to generate marketing buzz around their latest wares. The industry’s biggest players often spend tens of millions of dollars to exhibit at the show, and smaller ones pay in the hundreds of thousands.On Wednesday the GSMA, the trade body for the mobile technology industry, said in a statement it will offer full refunds to all attendees for the cost of their tickets, which cost 799 euros ($865) for a basic admissions pass. For large exhibitors, the GSMA wants to incentivize discounts on attending the show in future years as an alternative to claiming large refunds.Mats Granryd, the director general of the GSMA, said in an interview with Bloomberg at the time MWC was canceled that the trade body was “looking for solidarity” and everybody bearing their own costs.It looks like that may be happening, to some extent. Some large operators have already expressed to the GSMA their intention to participate in MWC next year, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. These include Orange SA, Telefonica SA, Vodafone Group Plc and NTT Docomo.Larger companies will get the option of receiving a credit worth 125% of what they paid to exhibit at this year’s show, which will be applied as a 65% discount on the cost of attending next year, plus 35% and 25% discounts on the two subsequent years respectively.Alternatively, they can claim refunds equivalent to 50% of their spend for MWC 2020, up to a maximum of 150,000 pounds ($178,000).For smaller exhibitors -- those who spent up to 5,000 pounds -- a full refund will be offered. However, these firms can also opt to waive a refund and instead be granted a 125% credit and three years of discounts.Companies that had canceled their attendance prior to the GSMA calling of the show will be offered credits and discounts, but not cash refunds.The GSMA’s board is made up of executives from a number of the world’s biggest operators, including Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom AG, who agreed to the initial cancellation. The GSMA isn’t expecting its operator members to seek refunds.About 80% of the GSMA’s annual budget is derived from the money it generates from MWC Barcelona, according to two people familiar with the group’s budget.But internally, executives don’t consider the cancellation of MWC 2020 and Wednesday’s offer of refunds to be an existential threat, according to an executive with direct knowledge of board-level conversations who didn’t want to be named discussing private matters.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Disney Continues Streaming Service Launch In Europe With Changes

    (Bloomberg) -- Walt Disney Co. is pressing ahead with the March 24 launch of its new video streaming service, Disney+, in Europe, with some minor changes in light of the coronarvius.The debut in France will be delayed until April 7 at the request of the French government, Disney said in a statement. The CEO of Orange SA, the Paris-based telecommunications giant, had called for it to avoid overloading its networks.Disney also said it would take measures to reduce its bandwidth utilization by at least 25% in the markets in which it is launching.“We will be monitoring Internet congestion and working closely with Internet service providers to further reduce bitrates as necessary to ensure they are not overwhelmed by consumer demand,” Kevin Mayer, the chairman of the company’s direct-to-consumer division, said in the statement.Countries around the world are seeing a surge in Internet usage as residents, cocooned in their homes, go online to chat, read the news, shop or watch videos.Disney last week delayed the launch of the service in India, in part due to the virus-related postponement of professional cricket.The world’s largest entertainment company is particularly hard-hit by the virus, which has closed movie theaters and theme parks around the world and canceled sporting events that are the mainstay of its ESPN channels.Disney has delayed a number of movie debuts in theaters and pushed up the dates on which “Frozen 2” and the new Pixar film “Onward,” appear on the streaming service. That business costs $7 a month in the U.S.The company last week filed papers to raise as much as $6 billion in borrowings, partly to refinance existing debt as interest rates decline.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Did Changing Sentiment Drive Orange's (EPA:ORA) Share Price Down By 27%?
    Simply Wall St.

    Did Changing Sentiment Drive Orange's (EPA:ORA) Share Price Down By 27%?

    It's nice to see the Orange S.A. (EPA:ORA) share price up 14% in a week. But that doesn't change the fact that the...

  • Apple Hit With Record $1.2 Billion Fine Over French Sales Deals
    Bloomberg

    Apple Hit With Record $1.2 Billion Fine Over French Sales Deals

    (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. was fined a record 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) by French antitrust regulators after the U.S. tech giant was criticized for anti-competitive agreements with two favored distributors.The French agency said Apple conspired with two wholesalers -- Tech Data and Ingram Micro -- in a move that thwarted wholesale competition for non-iPhone products such as Apple Mac computers. The duo was also slapped with fines of 76.1 million euros and 63 million euros.“Apple and its two wholesalers agreed to not compete against each other and prevent resellers from promoting competition between each other, thus sterilizing the wholesale market for Apple products,” Isabelle de Silva, head of the French agency, said in a statement on Monday.The Apple penalty is the latest crackdown on Silicon Valley by France’s Autorité de la Concurrence. It fined Google 150 million euros late last year for setting “opaque” rules for its Google Ads advertising platform that it applied unfairly and randomly.The fine comes after Apple said Saturday it’s closing its hundreds of retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27 and is moving to remote work in order to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.Apple said the French decision “will cause chaos for companies across all industries” and vowed to appeal.The tech firm said it considers customers should be allowed to choose the product they want, either through Apple Retail or its large network of resellers across the country.Monday’s fine dwarfs the previous record antitrust penalty in France for a single company -- 350 million euros -- which was handed down to Orange SA in 2015.The combined penalty for Apple and the two wholesalers is also a record, topping the 951.2 million euros fine in 2014 split between 11 shampoo and toothpaste makers including L’Oreal SA.The French regulator said the Apple case was prompted by a complaint lodged by eBizcuss, an Apple premium reseller, in 2012.Antitrust officials say Apple’s actions froze market shares and prevented competition between different distribution channels for the brand. Apple allegedly took measures to force premium resellers to provide the same prices as it did in Apple Stores and on its website.The tech company also created an economic dependency for premium resellers, France’s Autorite de la Concurrence said. The resellers were contractually obliged to sell nearly only Apple products yet at times were not supplied with new products even when they were available on Apple’s website or in its stores.(An earlier version of the story was corrected to fix the French agency’s error concerning fines for Tech Data and Ingram Micro)\--With assistance from Helene Fouquet.To contact the reporter on this story: Gaspard Sebag in Paris at gsebag@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Peter Chapman, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Hedge Funds Dumped Orange S.A. (ORAN) Before Coronavirus Crash
    Insider Monkey

    Hedge Funds Dumped Orange S.A. (ORAN) Before Coronavirus Crash

    Will the new coronavirus cause a recession in US in the next 6 months? On February 27th, we put the probability at 75% and we predicted that the market will decline by at least 20% in (Recession is Imminent: We Need A Travel Ban NOW). In these volatile markets we scrutinize hedge fund filings to […]

  • Safaricom Likely to Borrow to Fund Ethiopia Telecom Bid
    Bloomberg

    Safaricom Likely to Borrow to Fund Ethiopia Telecom Bid

    (Bloomberg) -- Safaricom Plc., weighing an offer for Ethiopia’s telecom business later this year, plans to take on debt to fund a joint bid by a consortium including parent Vodacom Group Ltd. and two other entities.“We do know the investment to build the network in Ethiopia will be big,” Safaricom’s interim Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said in an interview at the company’s Nairobi headquarters. “So all of us will have to borrow to invest. The composition of the consortium will be on your willingness and your capability of taking on debt and your willingness to take a risk.”The privatization of Ethiopian Telecommunications Corp. and issuance of two spectrum licenses has been delayed by elections that were pushed to August from May, according to Joseph. The government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed hasn’t yet provided guidance on the bidding process, including any limits on foreign ownership, he said.East Africa’s biggest company had total borrowings of 4 billion shillings ($39.5 million) in 2019, and 36.3 billion shillings in undrawn bank facilities, according to its annual report. Revenue has been rising every year since 2003, when the company became profitable, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.“Leverage makes sense for Safaricom considering their balance sheet size, so the cost of borrowing will be low,” Silha Rasugu, an analyst at EFG Hermes, said in response to emailed questions. “It also allows them to maintain dividend payout through the high capex cycle as they build a network in Ethiopia.”Safaricom shares closed unchanged at 29.95 shillings after a seven-day losing streak on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.Unlike Kenya, where Safaricom’s business became profitable within 3 1/2 years, Joseph said Ethiopia is “probably a 10-year journey.”Regulatory ChangeOpening up the telecommunications industry is part of a raft of reforms to liberalize Ethiopia’s economy as Abiy looks to increase foreign-capital inflows. Other carriers, including Orange SA and MTN Group Ltd., have expressed interest in expanding in the nation of more than 100 million people, which has a relatively low level of data penetration and internet access.In December, Ethiopia’s investment-promotion agency released proposed regulations that would reserve banking and micro-finance for local investors, which would prevent Safaricom from providing such services via its M-Pesa payments platform.“We cannot go in there as Safaricom and provide mobile-money services if we have to give it all away to somebody else just under some sort of technical support,” Joseph said. “We will if we have to, but in the end we want to have a license to provide those services, so the regulations will have to change.”(Updates with analyst comment from fifth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Bella Genga in Nairobi at bgenga2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Malingha at dmalingha@bloomberg.net, Helen NyamburaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Could Orange S.A. (EPA:ORA) Have The Makings Of Another Dividend Aristocrat?
    Simply Wall St.

    Could Orange S.A. (EPA:ORA) Have The Makings Of Another Dividend Aristocrat?

    Dividend paying stocks like Orange S.A. (EPA:ORA) tend to be popular with investors, and for good reason - some...

  • Business Wire

    Orange Business Services Selects Ekinops and Dell Technologies for uCPE Platforms to Accelerate Network Edge Transformation

    Orange Business Services has chosen Ekinops and Dell Technologies as partners for a new universal customer premise equipment (uCPE) solution. This platform plays a key role in network transformation, including software defined networking (SDx), providing customers with increased business agility, flexibility and simplicity in service deployment. Orange will deliver solutions based on this uCPE to mid-market and large enterprise customers worldwide starting in 2020.

  • GuruFocus.com

    Stocks That Fell to 3-Year Lows in the Week of Feb. 14

    DuPont de Nemours, Canon, Orange and Diamondback Energy present buying opportunities Continue reading...

  • China Warns France Against Excluding Huawei From 5G Networks
    Bloomberg

    China Warns France Against Excluding Huawei From 5G Networks

    (Bloomberg) -- China warned France against treating Huawei Technologies Co. differently from European competitors when it comes to future 5G network equipment contracts, as the U.S. mounts a campaign to keep the Chinese tech giant at bay.In a lengthy statement issued on Sunday on its website, the Chinese embassy in Paris urged France to establish “transparent criteria and treat all companies in a similar way,” referring to telecom equipment makers.It also warned that a difference in treatment based on the country of origin would be considered “blatant discrimination” and “disguised protectionism.”The statement also carried a veiled warning.“We do not wish to see the development” in China of Finland’s Nokia Oyj and Sweden’s Ericsson AB being “impacted because of discrimination and protectionism” against Huawei by France and other European countries, the embassy said.Why 5G Mobile Is Arriving With a Subplot of Espionage: QuickTakeThe statement comes as France prepares to auction off 5G spectrum in April. France’s main carrier, Orange SA, has already announced it would leave Huawei out of its 5G network and work instead with Nokia and Ericsson.But two other French carriers who’ve been reliant on Huawei for their 4G networks, Altice Europe NV’s SFR and Bouygues SA’s telecom unit, have yet to name their 5G partners.The U.S. has been pressuring European allies to ban Huawei over fears that China’s government may be able to access its systems for spying. Huawei and Beijing officials deny there’s any such risk.“Huawei’s 5G equipment are totally safe” and have never presented any “backdoor” lapses, the statement from the embassy added.The U.K. government has faced a backlash from some senior lawmakers in its own party following a decision last month to let Huawei play a limited role in its 5G networks. That prompted one of China’s top diplomats in Britain to call their opposition “a witch hunt” in an interview with the BBC on Sunday.President Donald Trump has privately castigated Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo didn’t rule out the possibility that the episode could hurt post-Brexit trade talks between the countries.(Adds Chinese ambassador comment in penultimate paragraph.)\--With assistance from Thomas Seal.To contact the reporter on this story: Angelina Rascouet in Paris at arascouet1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Thomas Pfeiffer at tpfeiffer3@bloomberg.net, Jennifer Ryan, Anne PollakFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Barrons.com

    There’s a World of Dividend Stocks Out There. And They Pay More Than U.S. Companies.

    “If you are an income investor, especially with any long-term thought process, it really makes sense to be a global investor, as opposed to being just a domestic one,” says Jason Brady, CEO of Thornburg Investment Management.

  • Bloomberg

    Huawei Scouts Europe for Tech Startups to Secure Supply Chain

    (Bloomberg) -- Huawei Technologies Co. is in talks about investing in European tech startups and contributing to research in a bid to secure its supply chain as tensions with the U.S. escalate, people familiar with the matter said.In the final weeks of 2019, Huawei executives visited startups and venture capital firms in countries including Germany and France, they said. The companies discussed business collaborations and potential cash injections in exchange for equity stakes, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks were private.No final decisions have been made and Huawei may decide against making any investments, the people said. A spokesman for Huawei didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Huawei has rapidly shifted toward self-reliance as American sanctions jeopardized a carefully orchestrated global supply chain. U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly railed against China and its companies, including Huawei, citing industrial espionage, national security and intellectual property theft. He has limited their access to the U.S. market and to American suppliers, while also pressing allies from Japan to the Netherlands to review policies toward the Asian giant.The company has been open about its desire to work closely with researchers in Europe. But any larger investment may face scrutiny. The U.K. this week revealed partial bans for Huawei equipment in high-speed 5G networks. Orange SA, the former French phone monopoly, said on Friday it would leave Huawei out of future wireless infrastructure.Under President Emmanuel Macron’s watch, the French state has added AI and semiconductors to the list of sectors under the foreign investments regulation act. The law allows the state to review, block or demand government reviews in any investment in entities that are part of the list, which spans communications to space.U.K. merger rules introduced in 2018 increased scrutiny of technology deals on national security grounds. Germany’s economy ministry also said in November that it planned to tighten regulation covering the takeover of high-tech firms by non-EU companiesStill, Huawei already has a collection of small investments in Europe. In 2014, the Chinese company made its first investment in the U.K., buying a stake in semiconductor company XMOS, while in 2010 Belgian wireless technology firm Option sold semiconductor company M4S to Huawei for 8 million euros ($8.9 million).The company’s also said it will put 20 million pounds ($26 million) behind British app developers to encourage them to write software for its in-house smartphone platform, HarmonyOS. It’s part of a $1.5 billion global developer program announced last year.Huawei is also building up its European research and development arm after deciding in November to move its U.S. research business to Canada. It’s currently building a new lab in Cambridge -- a U.K. tech hub -- that would house 350 staff.\--With assistance from Nate Lanxon.To contact the reporters on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at hfouquet1@bloomberg.net;Giles Turner in London at gturner35@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at gturner35@bloomberg.net, Amy Thomson, Nate LanxonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Why You Should Care About Orange S.A.’s (EPA:ORA) Low Return On Capital
    Simply Wall St.

    Why You Should Care About Orange S.A.’s (EPA:ORA) Low Return On Capital

    Today we'll look at Orange S.A. (EPA:ORA) and reflect on its potential as an investment. In particular, we'll consider...

  • GuruFocus.com

    Stocks That Fell to 3-Year Lows in the Week of Jan. 3

    Orange, Iron Mountain, PLDT and Meredith present buying opportunities Continue reading...

  • Benzinga

    Bank Of America On Orange Investor Day: Increase In Capital Expenditure To Fund Growth

    Orange SA (NYSE: ORAN ) this week published its 2025 Plan. The plan suggests the company is preparing to take on some short-term pain for long-term gains, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The ...

  • Orange Joins Phone Industry’s Big Infrastructure Sell-Off
    Bloomberg

    Orange Joins Phone Industry’s Big Infrastructure Sell-Off

    (Bloomberg) -- Orange SA will seek to extract greater value from its telecom infrastructure, joining rivals in selling stakes in mobile-phone towers and fiber-optic networks.In a first step, France’s largest phone carrier is selling 1,500 mobile towers in Spain to Cellnex Telecom SA for 260 million euros ($288 million), it said Wednesday in a statement unveiling a five-year strategic plan.Orange will set up separate companies to house its 40,000 cellular towers and look for partners to help finance the costly roll-out of fiber networks in France and elsewhere in Europe.Its shares fell as much as 4.8%, the biggest intraday drop in more than three years, after the company issued new forecasts for profits and dividends in the near term that were weaker than analysts had expected. Orange Slides to Almost 3-Month Low as Investor Day DisappointsThe carrier is a relative latecomer to an industry push to hive off network infrastructure into separate businesses to boost its value and bring in new investors. There’s big demand for those assets among funds seeking reliable investment returns. Their involvement could help Orange to cut investment costs and boost a share price that’s barely changed in half a decade, frustrating the government, which owns almost a quarter of the company. The company’s new financial targets see capital spending starting to decline from 2022 once it’s made investments in radio-access network sharing deals in Spain and Belgium and completed the bulk of a fiber-to-the-home fixed-line deployment in France. Ecapex, Orange’s term for capital spending, is expected to grow by around 200 million euros in 2020, then stabilize in 2021 before starting to decline the following year.Read more: Orange’s Midterm Outlook Ambition Hindered by Pressures: ReactMaking the most of infrastructure is key to a new target to increase Ebitdaal -- its measure for adjusted operating income -- by 2% to 3% for 2021-2023. That’s after slightly increasing Ebitdaal in 2019 and aiming for “flat positive” Ebitdaal in 2020.The extra profit may not go to shareholders for now: the company set a minimum annual dividend of 70 euro cents until 2023 and said any increase would depend on the amount of organic cash flow.“We believe the short-term guidance is underwhelming versus consensus expectations,” said Barclays analysts in a note. “As such we expect some profit taking after the recent strong stock performance.”Orange stock has gained 1.5% this year through Tuesday, in line with the wider Stoxx Europe 600 telecommunications index, while independent wireless tower company Cellnex has doubled in value.Red LineFor now, Orange’s infrastructure plans are relatively limited compared to those of rivals. While Vodafone Group Plc has set up a separate towers business for which it plans an initial public offering or stake sale, Orange is looking on a market-by-market basis to consider selling non-strategic towers, and will hold on to what it sees as the most valuable sites. While the new tower companies in Europe seek to demonstrate infrastructure value, monetization so far is “very limited,” Jefferies analysts led by Jerry Dellis wrote in a note.Orange will only go so far in separating assets that it still sees as key to its future. Chief Executive Officer Stephane Richard said it is a “red line” for Orange to “keep control” of the infrastructure, while conceding that its share price doesn’t reflect the value of the assets under the current structure.U.S. carriers have been more radical than their European peers in the past decade, selling overall control of their towers to create a large, independent tower industry. Those deals sometimes led to higher costs for the carriers when the tower operators cranked up mast leasing costs.Orange said it will share future fiber broadband deployment in Spain and Poland with other carriers and may find partners for its French fiber rollout. Richard also raised the prospect of a possible IPO for Orange’s Africa and Middle East business, as previously reported by Bloomberg News. (Adds analyst comment in tenth paragraph, detail on fiber plans at end)\--With assistance from Kit Rees.To contact the reporter on this story: Angelina Rascouet in Paris at arascouet1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, Thomas Pfeiffer, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Is Orange S.A. (ORAN) A Good Stock To Buy ?
    Insider Monkey

    Is Orange S.A. (ORAN) A Good Stock To Buy ?

    The 700+ hedge funds and famous money managers tracked by Insider Monkey have already compiled and submitted their 13F filings for the third quarter, which unveil their equity positions as of September 30. We went through these filings, fixed typos and other more significant errors and identified the changes in hedge fund portfolios. Our extensive […]

  • It Might Be Better To Avoid Orange S.A.'s (EPA:ORA) Upcoming Dividend
    Simply Wall St.

    It Might Be Better To Avoid Orange S.A.'s (EPA:ORA) Upcoming Dividend

    Readers hoping to buy Orange S.A. (EPA:ORA) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is...

  • France's Bad Boy of Telecoms Joins the Geriatric Set
    Bloomberg

    France's Bad Boy of Telecoms Joins the Geriatric Set

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Xavier Niel is supposed to be the bad boy of French telecoms. He never finished college, once ran an online sex-chat service, and shook up incumbents like Orange SA with cheap pricing when he launched Free Mobile in 2012.That makes one element of his push to extend control over Free’s parent Iliad SA particularly surprising: the implicit admission that the Paris-based company is becoming just like any other boring telecom company. It's an overdue acknowledgement of market realities.It all comes down to the dividend. Mobile carriers have appealed to investors over the past decade not for their growth prospects but their generous dividend payouts. European telecommunications firms will have an average dividend yield of 5% this year, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with the 3.3% average of the broader Stoxx 600 Index of European companies.Iliad has differed from the crowd. Its 12-month yield has averaged 0.8% since 2009. That’s because it promised growth — the stock climbed almost three-fold between 2009 and 2017. But the past two years have been a different story. Before today, the shares had fallen 63% from their 2017 peak as French rivals reclaimed market share from the low-cost upstart.On Tuesday, Niel announced plans to boost his holding in the firm by as much as 20 percentage points. The complicated structure will see Iliad buy back up to 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) of stock for 120 euros per share, then issue new shares of an equivalent amount that Niel has pledged to buy, in a rights issue to which other shareholders can also subscribe. At the same time, Iliad announced it would increase the dividend by a chunky 189% to 2.60 euros, bringing the yield to more than 2%. That’s still very much at the low end of its peers but a substantial change in policy, particularly at a time when the region’s giants — Vodafone Group Plc and Deutsche Telekom AG — are cutting their dividends as they anticipate increased spending on 5G networks.For Niel, it’s a canny way of using the company’s stronger balance sheet to extend his control. Iliad is expecting proceeds of more than 2 billion euros from the sale of infrastructure assets this year. If he increases his stake to above 70% from the current 52%, as the buyback and rights issue might allow, he can expect annual dividend proceeds exceeding 100 million euros. That can help him service the personal debt that he’s likely assuming to fund the rights issue. The move may also strengthen Niel's hand and his financial upside, should the perennial on-again, off-again efforts to consolidate the French market resume.The steps at Iliad don’t particularly disadvantage existing shareholders financially, even if they do seem to be very much in Niel’s interest. They’re under no obligation to sell, and have already benefited from a jump in the share price, which climbed 18% on Tuesday. Nor does the increased payout significantly weaken the firm’s finances: The dividend payout will top 154 million euros. Net debt of 3.7 times Ebitda will fall closer to 2.5 times Ebitda. And it’s far less outrageous than the self-interested efforts of fellow French billionaire Vincent Bollore and his family to extend control over Vivendi SA. The Bollores are simply carrying out a buyback of the media conglomerate’s shares, then canceling them, leaving the family with a bigger stake without increasing their financial risk.But for all of Niel’s assertions that the investment reflects his “confidence in the company’s industrial project,” he will likely need Iliad to continue the more generous dividend payouts to service his greater debt. That will gradually chip away at Iliad’s ability to engage in costly price wars to drive market share. Instead, it’s becoming more like its rivals, generating steadier, more predictable returns, rather than promising stratospheric stock growth.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at awebb25@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Do Institutions Own Shares In Orange S.A. (EPA:ORA)?
    Simply Wall St.

    Do Institutions Own Shares In Orange S.A. (EPA:ORA)?

    The big shareholder groups in Orange S.A. (EPA:ORA) have power over the company. Generally speaking, as a company...

  • Read This Before Judging Orange S.A.'s (EPA:ORA) ROE
    Simply Wall St.

    Read This Before Judging Orange S.A.'s (EPA:ORA) ROE

    Many investors are still learning about the various metrics that can be useful when analysing a stock. This article is...