Vivendi Accepts Numericable Bid to Buy SFR

 

Vivendi has accepted a large bid from Numericable for SFR after a lengthy negotiation period with other firms. Photo: Vivendia SA for Wikimedia Commons.

Vivendi has accepted a large bid from Numericable for SFR after a lengthy negotiation period with other firms. Photo: Vivendia SA for Wikimedia Commons.

Vivendi announced on April 5 it would accept the bid from Numericable to buy its telecommunication affiliate SFR, over a rival offer from Bouygues, in a deal worth more than 17 billion euros.

According to the announcement released last Saturday, the supervisory board of Vivendi “unanimously” decided to accept the offer from Numericable, a cable-broadband company providing services in France, Luxembourg, and Portugal, along with its parent company Altrice. The deal includes an initial payment of 13.5 billion euros, with a remainder of 750 million and the possibility of an eventual stake share of 20%.

Bouygues, a rival telecommunication company, and Altice-Numericable have both entered into a fierce fight since March to bid for SFR, the second biggest mobile network provider in France. While Vivendi has undergone an exclusive negotiation with Numericable since March 14, a last-minute revised offer by Bouygues on April 4 added uncertainty to the outcome.

In the announcement, Vivendi states that the board’s decision corresponds to an “industrial project” that is most likely to obtain sustainable growth, to create value for its costumers, employees, and shareholders, and better matches the objectives of Vivendi.

Following the announcement, Arnaud Montebourg, Minister of the Economy, said that he would increase the “vigilance” on Altice and Numericable’s commitment made to him. He stressed that two entities promised not to decrease any jobs after the merger, in any form whatsoever.

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