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Orange Concessions, the €2.6bn fibre business, is operational

Stephane Richard Orange.jpg

Orange, La Banque des Territoires (Caisse des Dépôts), CNP Assurances and EDF Invest, confirms the launch of Orange Concessions, the €2.675 billion joint venture fibre business.

"By 2025, 30% of FTTH connections in rural areas of France will be operated by Orange Concessions. Over the past ten years, Orange has been the undisputed leader of this major infrastructure project in France," said Stéphane Richard (pictured), chairman and CEO of Orange.

"I am now delighted that long-term investors – recognised for their infrastructure expertise and their proximity to local authorities – have acquired a stake in Orange Concessions. Orange is more committed than ever to being the go-to partner for local authorities in their regional digital development projects."

The new company announced in January  is 50% owned by Orange and 50% owned by a consortium made up of remaining three companies. Orange Concessions is comprised of 24 public initiative networks, under contract with local authorities, in Metropolitan France and overseas territories. Overall, the networks represent 4.5 million households with fibre connectivity.

"The target to reach 100% coverage by 2022 set-out in France’s very high speed broadband plan requires the mobilisation of everyone. By investing in Orange Concessions alongside CNP Assurances and EDF Invest, La Banque des Territoires continues to fight against regional exclusion, of which the digital divide is one possible cause," said Olivier Sichel, deputy chief executive officer of the Caisse des Dépôts and managing director of La Banque des Territoires.

"This is why La Banque des Territoires provides loans or investment support to 80% of French departments for their very high speed broadband projects. Our effort of 1.8 billion euros will bring optical fibre to more than 12 million premises by 2025.”

Orange Concessions works with local authorities on the region's digital development by orchestrating the design, construction and management of these public fibre networks. It leverages Orange and markets the networks to all internet service providers to offer fibre to their end customers.

"As a responsible investor, CNP Assurances is pleased to support the development of Orange Concessions and thus provide its policyholders with the recurring and long-term returns offered by this type of infrastructure," said Stéphane Dedeyan, chief executive officer of CNP Assurances.

"In addition, in accordance with our raison d'être and alongside Orange and the members of the consortium, we intent to act for an inclusive and sustainable society and to participate fully in reducing the digital divide in rural France by providing fibre connectivity to the widest possible population."

With Orange sharing the investment with its shareholders, La Banque des Territoires, CNP Assurances and EDF Invest, the company has the resources required to bolster its leadership as an infrastructure operator.

"This investment in a large-scale digital infrastructure marks a further step in EDF Invest's deployment and diversification strategy," said Pierre Benoist d'Anthenay, director of EDF Invest.

"In addition, we are very happy to form this partnership with Orange, a benchmark player in fibre in Europe, alongside the Caisse des Dépôts and CNP Assurances.”

In addition, Orange Concessions and its team of 100, will be led by Jean-Germain Breton as chairman. In his new role, Breton will focus on developing the business and creating value for the company’s shareholders.

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