€62.5 million acquisition aimed at strengthening OBS’ digital transformation credentials.

Orange this week entered exclusive talks to acquire consultancy firm Business & Decision (B&D).

Based in Paris, and with offices across Europe, and in the Americas, Russia, North Africa, the Middle East and India, B&D offers a range of business intelligence, systems integration and customer relationship management (CRM) services.

Orange said the deal will strengthen Orange Business Services’ position as a global player in digital transformation.

"We are convinced that the combination of Business & Decision’s expertise in data and business intelligence and our dual know-how as an operator and service integrator will be a key lever that will enable us to accelerate the digital transformation of our enterprise customers and stimulate growth," said Thierry Bonhomme, the Orange Group’s deputy CEO in charge of Orange Business Services.

Orange intends to buy a 67% stake with an offer of €7.93 per share, which represents a 34% premium on B&D’s average share price over the last 12 months, and values the company at €62.3 million.

If it is successful in acquiring a majority stake, Orange will then make a public for all outstanding B&D shares at the same price.

"This operation is perfectly in line with the realisation of our strategic objectives around our two key offerings: data and digital services," said Christophe Dumoulin, managing director of B&D. "It is an opportunity for Business & Decision and its teams to deploy our expertise in new markets in France and internationally, and to continue to invest and innovate in data-driven technologies."

The acquisition is subject to approval from competition authorities, and is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2017.