Altice to acquire 20% stake in Numbericable-SFR

Altice to acquire 20% stake in Numbericable-SFR

Vivendi has agreed to sell its remaining stake in Numericable-SFR to Altice for €3.9 billion.

The French media group said on Friday that it has accepted a bid from billionaire Patrick Drahi, owner of Altice, to purchase its 20% stake in Numericable-SFR.

The sale at €40 per share is below Numericable-SFR’s present price of €55.40. However, Vivendi said the amount still represented a 20% premium over the share price in November when it sold SFR to Numericable.

As part of the deal, Altice said Numericable-SFR would acquire half of Vivendi’s stake through a share buyback programme, subject to approval at a shareholders meeting. The remainder of Vivendi’s stake will be acquired by Altice France, with a payment to be made no later than April 7, 2016 and subject to an interest of 3.8% a year.

The move marks Vivendi’s exit from the telecoms industry as it seeks to refocus its business on media and entertainment. Since mid-2013, it has sold three of its six businesses, including a stake in Maroc Telecom and its French mobile unit SFR. The company has invested over €28 billion on acquisitions in the past year.

The deal continues a trend of consolidation in the European telecoms market.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the days following the next shareholders meeting of Numericable-SFR, which is due before April 30, 2015. On completion, Altice will increase its 60% stake in Numericable-SFR to 80%.


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