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Orange finally valued

10 euros a share or £30.8bn in total

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Orange has finally announced its float price for today's IPO: 10 euros a share, which values the company at £30.8 billion.

The 10 euro price is just above the mooted 9.5 euro figure last week when the mobile phone company surprised many by saying it may knock a further sixth of its value (it had already reduced the price by 15 per cent).

The £31 billion price tag is somewhat lower than what France Telecom reckoned the company was worth when it bought it off Vodafone. Then, it claimed Orange was worth between £64 billion and £96 billion. We think that France Telecom may be doing itself an injustice by floating now but it seems determined - indeed, it obviously feels that showing such determination will make it out to be a strong company. Unfortunately, a lot of people see it the other way - perhaps even desperation.

The share options have been popular however: two-and-a-half times oversubscribed. But then they will be paying 9.5 euros a share and with Orange probably undervalued, they look like a good bet. Three-quarters of the shares (which will account for around 15 per cent of Orange in total) will go to the institutional investors and plain ole Joes will get the rest.

The float will kick off at 1pm Greenwich time on Tuesday in both Paris and London. We'll keep an eye on it. ®

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