Vivendi Agrees to Sell SFR to Numericable
Published on: 6th Apr 2014
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
By: Ian Mansfield
The battle to buy the French mobile network SFR has been won by Altice controlled Numericable despite several attempts by rival bidder Bouygues Telecom to raise its own offer.
Vivendi, which owns SFR says that it has decided to select the Altice/Numericable offer which it said corresponds to the industrial project offering the highest growth potential, generating the highest value for its customers, employees and shareholders, while best meeting Vivendi's objectives.
The Numericable offer will see Numericable paying EUR13.5 billion in cash, as well as a 20% stake in the company. Vivendi said that the offer represented a total value in excess of EUR17 billion, which is about the same as the rival offer from Bouygues.
The main advantage that Vivendi saw for for the Numericable offer over that from Bouygues is fixed and mobile convergence, with synergies resulting from the interdependence of the two merged entities' networks.
There were also suggestions of government pressure over the risk of job losses from cost cutting as overlapping services are merged. Vivendi noted that the Numericable offer was better for employment opportunities, which it said "corresponds to the priorities defined by the French government".
This decision also puts an end to SFR's previous demerger plan.