French Mobile Network, SFR in Merger Talks with Cable TV Operator

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French conglomerate Vivendi is reported to be considering a merger of its mobile network subsidiary SFR with the local cable TV network Numericable. The deal would see Vivendi owning 49% of the merged company.

Although SFR is valued at around three-times that of Numericable, the cable company would raise its holding in the larger firm through a payment of EUR4-5 billion to Vivendi. The move would enable Vivendi to retain a stake in the mobile network while also paying down some of the debt which is troubling the company.

The intention would be then for Vivendi to sell its remaining stake through a stock market listing.

The merged company would look to drive cost savings of around EUR1 billion per year, in a market which is in the midst of a price war following the launch of the low-cost Free Mobile network.

Numericable is currently owned by private equity groups, Cinven, Carlyle Group and Altice Group.

On the web: Journal du Dimanche

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Tags: vivendi  sfr  numericable  France 

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