France's Orange offers $4.4B for Spain's Jazztel

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

MADRID (AP) — France's Orange has offered 3.4 billion euros ($4.4 billion) to buy the operations of Spanish telecommunications company Jazztel.

Jazztel PLC says in a statement to Spanish securities regulators that Orange SA offered 13 euros ($16.80) in cash for each Jazztel share.

Jazztel shares jumped 6.1 percent in Tuesday morning trading in Madrid after the deal was announced late Monday night. The main Spanish stock index slipped 0.7 percent.

Orange says in a statement that the deal would make it the second largest fixed-line broadband Internet operator in Spain, after market leader Telefonica SA.

The transaction is subject to approval by government regulators.

Jazztel's chairman and largest shareholder is Leopoldo Fernandez Pujals, who also founded Spain's huge Telepizza restaurant chain.