French cable network provider Numericable is reportedly in discussions with media group Vivendi to acquire its telecoms unit SFR in a deal that could be worth EUR15 billion (USD20.61 billion). Local newspaper Les Echos reports that the two companies have already reached an agreement in principle, and now aim to finalise the deal in a few weeks. However, both Numericable and Vivendi reportedly declined to comment on the matter.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this month it emerged that Numericable was planning to make an offer for SFR before its listing. Local newspapers reported that although discussions had not officially reopened, a ‘battalion of consultants’ were said to be working on possible synergies. Numericable’s private equity owners Carlyle, Cinven and Altice first entered into discussions with Vivendi over a multi-billion euro merger with SFR in October 2012, although talks between the involved parties subsequently stalled, in February 2013.