Altice and KKR choose name of online game for new €3.6bn tower company

19 December 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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French telco Altice Europe and private equity investor KKR have decided to call their tower company Hivory – borrowing the name of a platform game launched last year.

Altice sold a 49.99% share in the towers used by its French mobile unit SFR to KKR in June 2018, valuing the business at €3.6 billion.

At the time of the transaction they called the venture SFR TowerCo – but now they have decided to rename it Hivory.

That’s even though in 2017 a UK company called Playtonic launched a 3D action-adventure game, Yooka Laylee, in which the main hub is called Hivory Towers (pictured). Capacity has asked Altice and KKR whether they are aware of the clash.

Hivory, the French company, has more than 10,000 towers across France, putting the average price per tower at €360,000.

Altice and KKR said: “The company is focused on serving the growing infrastructure needs for mobile operators to provide connectivity to all parts of the French population, meeting continued strong demand for data consumption and increased coverage.”

It added: “Through Hivory, Altice and KKR will proactively seek to partner with all mobile operators to develop their coverage and densification objectives in France, through the build-to-suit of new towers and facilitating colocation needs in the French mobile market.”

Alain Weill, CEO of Altice Europe, and Vincent Policard, member of KKR’s European infrastructure team, said: “Hivory will benefit from strong market tailwinds, as well as the sector expertise and operational resources which Altice and KKR will provide through our partnership.”

They have not so far responded to Capacity’s request for comment on Hivory Towers the game. Capacity has also contacted Playtonic Games.