Altice hits out at rival Bouygues over failed offer

Caitlin Morrison
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PATRICK Drahi’s telecoms group Altice yesterday slammed rival Bouygues over the takeover bid it rejected earlier this week.

Bouygues turned down an offer that sources put at around €10bn (£7bn) for its telecoms unit on Wednesday, with the group’s chief executive Martin Bouygues telling a French newspaper: “Bouygues Telecom is not for sale.”

Altice confirmed yesterday that its offer valued the business “at a minimum of €10bn”, and said it was fully and unconditionally financed under commitment letters from BNP, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley.

The group said it “regrets that the [Altice] board has not once, either through its advisers or through its management teams, sought any details or explanations from Altice regarding the offer”.

Altice also highlighted the employment guarantees it had made to the French government as well as to Bouygues to maintain employment levels under conditions similar to those which had been negotiated in connection with its acquisition of SFR last year.

Altice beat Bouygues in the race to buy SFR, which was previously owned by Vivendi.