Altice sells La Reunion and Mayotte units, mops up more Numericable-SFR shares

Altice announced it has completed the sale of its mobile activities in the French Overseas Territories (FOT) of La Reunion and Mayotte to the Hiridjee Group for an undisclosed amount.

The mobile and cable telecoms group, which has recently been more known for buying than selling mobile businesses, was required to sell the mobile activities of Outremer Telecom--which runs the group's operations in five French Overseas Territories--as part of the concessions demanded by France's competition authority for the approval of Altice's acquisition of SFR.

Hiridjee Group is the controlling shareholder of Telma, a telecoms operator in Madagascar.

As well as La Reunion and Mayotte in the Indian Ocean area, Altice also provides various services including pay TV, fixed broadband access and fixed telephony under Outremer Telecom in the French West Indies--in Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana.

The company said it had 371,000 mobile subscribers in the FOT unit at the end of 2014. Mobile revenue in the region increased by 1.4 per cent year-on-year to €139.2 million ($152.9 million) as customers continue to shift from lower ARPU prepaid to postpaid tariffs. EBITDA in FOT was €105.9 million, up 25 per cent on 2013.

The acquisition of SFR from French media group Vivendi was completed in 2014, and formed part of plans to create a new fixed and mobile giant by merging the mobile operator with cable provider Numericable. In May this year, Altice then acquired Vivendi's 20 per cent stake in Numericable-SFR at a price of €40 per share, representing a total amount of about €3.9 billion. After this transaction, Altice held about 70.4 per cent of the share capital and voting rights of Numericable-SFR.

Altice has now also confirmed it bought a further 1,298,398 more shares in Numericable-SFR on July 31 for a total price of €64.6 million, although it did not disclose the percentage share this represents. Reports have suggested the additional shares represent 0.3 per cent of the French operator's share capital.

For more:
- see this article
- see this Zonebourse article

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