SFR Numericable bid for Bouygues Telecom

SFR-Numericable have placed a bid for Bouygues Telecom
SFR-Numericable have placed a bid for Bouygues Telecom
Patrick Drahi, head of SFR numericable wants to seize Bouygues Telecom. – Thibault Camus / AP / SIPA

TELECOMS : unveiled the giant SFR Numericable offers to buy Bouygues Telecom for 10 billion euros …

Patrick Drahi has surprised everyone.  Le Journal du Dimanche has found that telecom tycoon and media (now boss of Libération and L’Express ) and the head of Numericable, SFR empire has offered 10 billion euros for its rival Bouygues Telecom.  If he did not hide his ambitions, the boss of Altice now appears to have a solid plan of redemption.

10 billion, well above the market price

An amount that the operator takes very seriously. Indeed, the Board of Directors of Bouygues Telecom will decide early next week (probably Tuesday) on this bid.  Still, Martin Bouygues group had so far no desire to sell Bouygues Telecom.  But Patrick Drahi would provide $ 2 billion more than the market price, as the Sunday newspaper, which estimates the price of the operator rather around 8 billion.

“This is the offer the most complete and most serious” in recent years in terms of restructuring of the French telecoms landscape, says a source attached by AFP, but added that the Board of Directors may also reject it.

But how to find them?

“The offer of Drahi is inappropriate and not secure, including its financing,” said a spokesman of Martin Bouygues in the JDD .  One way the newspaper has indicated that SFR will “raise the cash”.  Patrick Drahi proposes to pay in cash through a loan from BNP Paribas.

And the competition?

SFR would take over all of the 11 million mobile customers of Bouygues Telecom.  To avoid obstacles on competition, the discussions are ongoing but a scheme to provide the fourth mobile operator Free to recover a portion of the frequencies, antennas and of Bouygues Telecom stores.  It is hoped that the employees of the stores would be kept on or taken on by the other operator, Orange.  In this folder, “it is privately owned, and if the project is approved by the Board of Directors of Bouygues Telecom, it will then go to the competition authority, and it alone, to give or not the green light “.

The hostile government

The Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron proved totally hostile to this, saying that “consolidation today is not desirable for the sector. The employment, investment and the best service to consumers are priorities. But the consequences of consolidation are these negative ways, as demonstrated recent cases in Europe. ”

“The time is not opportunistic several reconciliations that may have an interest which is not found by the public interest,” he added in a statement to AFP.  “The employment, investment and the best service to consumers are priorities.  But the consequences of consolidation are these negative ways, as demonstrated recent cases in Europe, “said the Minister. “I continue to be very vigilant on all of these topics and on the commitments made by operators.  I will gather again on July 16 to take stock among others to come to a speedy conclusion, “added the Minister of Economy.

Patrick Drahi, ever more powerful

Patrick Drahi had managed to seize SFR in March 2014 after a Homeric battle against Bouygues, putting on the table 13.36 billion euros to buy the telecom operator from Vivendi.  The operation had paved the way for the formation of Numericable.   SFR group has since absorbed Virgin Mobile and Telindus, while its parent Altice, led by Patrick Drahi, took control of Portugal Telecom and more recently of Suddenlink Communications, the seventh US cable operator.  By buying Bouygues Telecom, SFR’s boss would be placed  at the head of the first French mobile operator with half of the market and the second for the internet behind Orange

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