Vivendi said it has received a binding offer from Altice and Numericable-SFR for the acquisition of its 20 per cent stake in Numericable-SFR at a price of €40 ($45) per share, representing a total amount of about €3.9 billion.
The offer comes less than three months after Altice completed the acquisition of mobile operator SFR from Vivendi, which at the time received €13.3 billion in cash and retained a 20 per cent stake in the combined entity, Numericable-SFR.
Vivendi noted that this latest offer would cancel out any previous agreements and any discussions on price adjustments. "It would signify for Vivendi the definitive payment of approximately €17 billion (after the financing of the Virgin acquisition for €200 million)," the France-based media company added.
Vivendi had agreed to contribute €200 million of the cash it received for SFR to the financing of Numericable's acquisition of mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Virgin Mobile.
The acquisition of Vivendi's outstanding 20 per cent stake is expected to take place following a meeting of Numericable-SFR shareholders on Apr. 30. The Vivendi supervisory board will also make its decision on Feb. 27.
Altice said Numericable-SFR will acquire half of Vivendi's stake through a share buyback programme, to be approved by Numericable-SFR shareholders. The other half will be acquired by Altice France, with a payment to be made no later than Apr. 7, 2016 and subject to an interest of 3.8 per cent per annum.
Numericable-SFR separately published preliminary pro-forma results for 2014, reporting that revenue should reach about €11.4 billion, with adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of about €3.1 billion. Pro-forma 2014 capex was around €1.8 billion. The company will release its full-year results on Mar. 5.
Meanwhile Altice is already rumoured to be pursuing another acquisition in France: reports this week suggested that the company is stepping up plans to make a bid for Bouygues Telecom, although nothing has been confirmed.
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