The supervisory board of French media group Vivendi’s has decided to enter into exclusive negotiations with Luxembourg-based investment fund Altice Group for its telecoms unit SFR, after examining the final offers it received from broadband operator Numericable (majority owned by Altice Group), and Bouygues Telecom, France’s third-largest cellco in terms of subscribers. According to a company press release, Vivendi considers Altice’s offer ‘to be the most pertinent for the group’s shareholders and employees, with the opportunity for effective execution.’
The Altice bid comprises a EUR11.75 billion (USD16.33 billion) payment to Vivendi and a 32% share in the equity of the newly combined entity. It also provides Vivendi with pre-determined exit conditions. Further, the Supervisory Board will meet again in three weeks ‘to examine the next steps and to decide if it should put an end to the other options envisaged.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this month, Vivendi received two bids for SFR, France’s second largest mobile provider in terms of subscribers, with both suitors initially valuing the unit at around EUR19 billion–EUR20 billion. However, last week Bouygues Telecom proposed to lift its offer by EUR1 billion; under the terms set out by the updated bid, Bouygues Telecom tabled a bid of EUR11.3 billion in cash (an increase of EUR800 million), as well as a 43% interest in the enlarged, newly established entity.