Carphone Warehouse and Richard Branson’s Virgin Group confirmed yesterday that they had agreed to sell Virgin Mobile France, the country’s largest mobile network operator, to rival Numericable for €325m (£260m).
The mobile phones giant owns 46 per cent of Virgin Mobile France’s holding company Omer Telecom, while Virgin Group owns 46 per cent. The rest is controlled by management.
The two companies said they had now entered into a legally binding sale and purchase agreement, which still needed the approval of the French Competition Authority.
Numericable, backed by Franco-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi, said the acquisition had been agreed after “very constructive” discussions with employee representatives.
The deal comes just months after Numericable agreed to buy French conglomerate Vivendi’s telecoms company SFR for £14m, following a fierce bidding war against rival Bouygues.
Carphone Warehouse agreed to an all-share merger with Dixons Retail last month, in a deal that would create a consumer electricals giant worth around £3.6bn.
The two firms are waiting to win shareholder approval later this month.