By Adria Calatayud

 

Orange Bank's board rejected a takeover offer for its French operations from U.S. investment firm Ripplewood Holdings and Amsterdam-listed special purpose acquisition company Iris Financial, and favors a closure of the bank.

The banking business of the French telecommunications group said Monday that its board unanimously decided not to follow up on the takeover offer after analyzing it carefully, particularly with regards to its ability to guarantee the future development of the activity and to safeguard employment.

"In this context, the social process with staff representatives continues in order to define the best possible options for employees going forward," Orange Bank said.

Iris Financial--a special-purpose acquisition company formed by an affiliate of Ripplewood--separately said it will continue to follow the situation closely, but is no longer in discussions with Orange.

Orange in June said it planned to pull out of retail banking. Late last month, Orange Bank said it had received a takeover offer from Ripplewood that it was analyzing. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

A spokesperson for Orange Bank said the board's decision means the bank will now resume exclusive negotiations with BNP Paribas about its customer portfolios in France and Spain, which were paused after Ripplewood's proposal emerged.

 

Write to Adria Calatayud at adria.calatayud@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 15, 2024 08:04 ET (13:04 GMT)

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