BlackRock recently acquired 42.7 million shares in the French group Orange, and is now its fourth shareholder. The American asset management firm is also active in other leading telecommunications companies in Africa, including MTN Group.
The American firm BlackRock declared having crossed on June 25, 2020, the threshold of 5% of the capital of Orange. It now holds 123.3 million shares of the leading French group in the mobile telephony sector.
This represents 5.12% of the capital and 4.40% of the voting rights of the telecom operator. The American asset manager specifies that this rate has been exceeded for the benefit of his clients; which results from an acquisition of off-market shares and an increase in the number of shares held as collateral.
According to data from the transaction, of which the Ecofin Agency may have had some details, BlackRock acquired a total of 42.7 million Orange shares, increasing its stake by 53%. This is the largest transaction made on the securities of the French company since December 31, 2018. This allows the asset manager to rise to fourth place in the ranking of shareholders.
BlackRock thus indirectly increases its exposure to the telecommunications sector in Africa. The black continent is indeed a significant market for the French group, and presents itself as its relay for future growth.
It should be recalled that on May 29, 2020, the American firm acquired 37.4 million MTN Group shares, in competition with Orange in Africa. This transaction is also one of the largest for the South African telecoms group since December 2018. BlackRock finally holds 30.3 million Airtel Africa shares on the London Stock Exchange. But its recent operation concerning this company was to reduce its participation.