Altice clinches €17bn takeover of French telecoms giant SFR from owner Vivendi

Oliver Smith
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As global M&A continues its fastest start to the year since 2007, City A.M. looks behind the most recent deals

FRENCH conglomerate Vivendi has accepted a €17bn (£14bn) takeover offer from Altice, via its Paris-based subsidiary Numericable, for French telecoms company SFR.

The deal, which will be presented to unions and regulators for approval, effectively hands victory to Numericable’s Franco-Israeli backer Patrick Drahi after a fierce month-long bidding war against fellow billionaire Martin Bouygues, whose family company owns France's third largest mobile operator.

Vivendi agreed the deal with European cable group Altice on Saturday despite a last-ditch offer from Bouygues – the outsider in the race but favoured by the French government – last week.

Vivendi described Altice’s bid as being the most balanced – comprised of €13.5bn in cash as well as a 20 per cent stake in the combined entity – and the one that would enable it to benefit from the highest total valuation for SFR.

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