Vivendi Receives Two Takeover Bid Offers for SFR
Published on: 6th Mar 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
Consolidation looks likely in the French telecoms market as Vivendi has confirmed that it has received two takeover bids for its SFR mobile network from two other mobile network operators in the country.
These offers have been provided by Altice, Numericable's parent company, and by the Bouygues group. Vivendi said that both offers include financing commitments.
Bouygues Telecom has offered a merger with SFR which would value SFR at EUR14.5 billion at the completion, and expects to see the value rise to EUR19 billion once the merger of their two infrastructures is completed.
Bouygues is offering Vivendi EUR10.5 billion in cash and a 46% stake in the merged company, ahead of an expected stock market listing.
The merged company would have 32 million mobile and 7 million fixed customers.
Considering the political situation in the country, Bouygues has also guaranteed to avoid any compulsory redundancies, although it hasn't ruled out voluntary job cuts.
The rival bidder, Altice's Numericable has confirmed that it made an offer, but has not gone into any details about it. As with Bouygues, it would expect cost savings from merging the mobile network with its Numericable landline services.
From a regulatory perspective, the Numericable offer would be easier to secure approval for as it still leaves the country with four mobile networks -- whereas the Bouygues deal would see the creation of a single dominant operator in the country, and effectively turn France into an Orange-SFR/Bouygues duopoly.
Vivendi said that it will now examine these offers, but did not say how long it will take. At the moment, the plan to split SFR off into a separate stand-alone company is carrying on regardless.