Vivendi May Look to Trade Sale of SFR Instead of Stock Market Listing
Published on: 21st Jan 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
France's Vivendi is reportedly looking at a possible trade sale of its SFR mobile network subsidiary as an alternative to a stock market listing.
The French conglomerate has already agreed to split off the mobile network into a separate company but could be persuaded into a sale of the company to the local cable TV network, Numericable.
Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg News reported that the two sides have met, although no agreement has been made, and Vivendi is still pushing ahead with the stock market listing at the moment.
There have been rumours of a merger between Numericable and SFR over the past couple of years, but the cable operator is now backed by Altice which could raise the funds for an outright purchase.
Based on previous rumours of a merger, the enlarged 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.
SFR is estimated to be worth around EUR12 billion, which is significantly higher than Numericable's own market capitalisation of around EUR3.6 billion.
Such a deal would still see SFR listed on a stock exchange though, as Altice recently said it would seek a listing of its own, so SFR would be indirectly listed on a stock market.
On the web: Bloomberg News
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