Numericable CEO eyes SFR merger

Numericable CEO eyes SFR merger

The CEO of French cable group Numericable has reportedly said that a tie up with Vivendi’s SFR would make sense in the competitive French market.

Eric Denoyer told French publication Le Figaro that the scenario of a merger with SFR has been studied “since it responds to real industry logic.”

Reports emerged in October that the two companies were discussing a multibillion euro merger, creating a new entity 49% owned by Vivendi and 51% owned by Numericable.

Given the significant difference in estimated value between the two, with SFR believed to be worth €15 billion and Numericable €4 to €5 billion, it was believed at the time that a large cash payment of around €4 billion would be required as part of the deal.

SFR has suffered as a result of Iliad’s Free entering France’s mobile market at the beginning of last year. The operator sparked a price war with its low cost tariffs cutting mobile earnings for all of its competitors.

Press reports in January said France’s antitrust watchdog had opposed a merger of Iliad and Vivendi’s mobile telecoms units but SFR CEO and chairman, Stéphane Roussel, has denied the company is up for sale.

There have previously been rumours that Vivendi would look to exit the telecoms sector altogether having placed its Brazillian telco GVT and stake in Maroc Telecom up for sale.

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