Altice to acquire remaining 20% SFR shares, buys out Vivendi

French cable group Altice has announced it has made a formal bid to acquire the remaining 20% of its recently acquired subsidiary SFR’s shares from previous majority owner Vivendi. The billionaire Patrick Drahi-led company and the newly formed Numericable-SFR have made an offer to pay €40 per share.

The plan is for Numericable-SFR to purchase half of the shares through a buyback programme, subject to a vote by the firm’s shareholders, with Altice France acquiring the other half. The total value of the deal would be approximately €1.95 billion plus 3.8% interest per annum. Altice said payment for the deal, which is expected to close in May, would be made by April 7 next year.

Along with Iliad’s Xavier Neil, Drahi is one of two aggressive acquisitionist French telecoms moguls having built the Altice group through numerous purchases of lagging cable operators at a relatively low price.

Meanwhile it has been reported Altice is again eyeing up Bouygues Telecom. The report claimed the firm has, amid informal talks, stepped up plans to suss out the financial and regulatory hurdles that would come with a bid for the telco.

This is not the first time the cable conglomerate has been said to be considering a bid for the French operator arm of the Bouygues group. After the latest report on the matter, Bouygues group, which also owns media and construction businesses, bounced up 5.2% on the stock market.

The French telecoms market has been stirring for further consolidation for some time, and Bouygues has been a clear target to be snapped up. This follows Bouygues losing out to Altice over SFR and its discussions with Orange and Iliad coming to nothing last year.

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