Iliad in SFR tie-up talks?

France’s Iliad Group is reportedly in discussions with Vivendi-owned SFR for a possible tie-up.

Les Echos reports that the two have not yet reached the point of holding technical meetings and that Vivendi’s discussions with French cable group Numericable were at a more advanced stage.

SFR has suffered a fall in profits and sales since Iliad’s mobile operation Free entered the French market earlier this year and sparked a price war.

France Telecom-Orange has proved more resilient than SFR due to a roaming pact with Free, which has granted the number one ranked mobile operator a buffer against customer losses.

The sale or merger of SFR is one of several options being considered by Vivendi as the company looks to restructure its operations and reduce its debt. The media group has also been linked with sales of both its stake in Maroc Telecom and Brazilian telco GVT.

A combination of SFR and Free is estimated to bring savings of €1.3 billion, according to Les Echos.