PARIS, March 14 (Reuters) – Vivendi has decided
“whatever the cost” to pick local cable group Numericable
to buy its French telecoms unit SFR, France’s industry
minister said on Friday just before the seller’s board convened
to decide on competing bids.
Arnaud Montebourg, said he believed Vivendi “preferred” the
Numericable offer over that of conglomerate Bouygues
despite the “numerous problems and questions” that he saw with
that outcome, such as the amount of debt the newly combined
company would have.
PARIS (Reuters) – French groups Bouygues (BOUY.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Numericable (NUME.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have both improved the terms of their bids for Vivendi’s (VIV.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) telecoms unit SFR, ahead of a decision by the seller on Friday that will reshape the country’s mobile industry.
Construction-to-telecoms conglomerate Bouygues said on Thursday it would raise the cash portion of its bid to 11.3 billion euros ($15.7 billion) from 10.5 billion, while cutting the stake Vivendi would be left with in a combined SFR-Bouygues to 43 percent from 46 percent.
PARIS, March 13 (Reuters) – French conglomerate Bouygues
enriched the cash element of its offer for media group
Vivendi’s telecoms unit SFR on Thursday in an attempt
to seal a deal and shut out rival bidder Numericable.
Bouygues said it would increase the cash portion of the bid
to 11.3 billion euros ($15.7 billion) from 10.5 billion
previously, while reducing the stake Vivendi is left with in the
combined SFR-Bouygues telecoms business to 43 percent, from 46
PARIS, March 12 (Reuters) – The traditional shoppers’
warning is caveat emptor, or “buyer beware”. When Vivendi’s
board meets on Friday to choose between two bids for
its French telecom unit SFR, “seller beware” may be more
Both offers – from conglomerate Bouygues and local
cable operator Numericable – leave Vivendi with a
significant minority stake in the newly-created operator and
continued exposure to the French telecom market, which has been
in the throes of a price war since 2012.
PARIS, March 10 (Reuters) – Shares in French low-cost
telecoms company Iliad soared 15 percent on Monday
after it announced industry-beating sales and profit growth and
signed what could be a transformative mobile network deal with
larger rival Bouygues.
Iliad, backed by tycoon Xavier Niel, stands to benefit from
sector consolidation in prospect after media company Vivendi
received two bids for the second-biggest French mobile
PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Bouygues Telecom (BOUY.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has agreed to sell its mobile network and much of its spectrum to smaller rival Iliad (ILD.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) as a way to head off competition regulators’ concerns about its pending bid for Vivendi’s SFR (VIV.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).
If Vivendi picks Bouygues’ bid for SFR over a rival offer – and if regulators approve the merger – then Bouygues will sell 15,000 mobile antennas and some of its mobile spectrum to Iliad for up to 1.8 billion euros ($2.50 billion), according to statements from both companies on Sunday.
PARIS, March 6 (Reuters) – Orange shares jumped to
a four-month high on Thursday after France’s largest telecom
operator forecast stable margins this year and higher core
profit than analysts were expecting.
Orange forecast earnings before interest, tax, depreciation
and amortisation (EBITDA) of 12.1-12.6 billion euros for 2014,
above the Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll average of 12.08 billion.
PARIS, March 5 (Reuters) – Two French billionaires are vying
to buy telecoms carrier SFR while a third watches closely from
the sidelines. A fourth could be the kingmaker.
SFR’s owner, Vivendi, confirmed receipt of two
offers for France’s second-biggest telecom group on Wednesday.
The bidders are cable operator Numericable
– backed by Patrick Drahi, number 215 on Forbes’
billionaires list – and Bouygues – the family company
of Martin Bouygues, Forbes’ billionaire number 408.
PARIS, Feb 26 (Reuters) – French construction-to-telecoms
group Bouygues unveiled higher core profit and a new
low-cost fixed line package on Wednesday, heating up a domestic
price war that has been weighing on revenue.
The conglomerate said it would rely on a robust construction
business and competitive telephone packages this year after
savings at its telecom and television units helped lift
operating profit by 5 percent in 2013.
PARIS, Feb 25 (Reuters) – French media-and-telecoms company
Vivendi posted an fall in underlying 2013 profits on
Tuesday hit by tough competition for its domestic mobile brand
SFR, which is set to be spun off.
Vivendi, which is restructuring to pay down debt and focus
on media, reported a 23.1 percent fall in adjusted earnings
before interest, tax and amortisation to 2.4 billion euros, hit
by the cost of revamping SFR.