Altice hit a road bump in its plan to buy all outstanding shares in France-based operator SFR after the French financial markets regulator AMF issued a decision to block the company’s buyout offer.
On Sept. 5, Altice unveiled an offer to buy the 22.5 per cent stake in SFR that it does not already own by offering to exchange eight new shares in
However, the AMF said the proposed public exchange offer for SFR shares “has been declared non-compliant,” although it provided no further clarification.
A spokesperson for the AMF told FierceWireless:
Altice, which is also in the process of integrating recently acquired assets such as U.S.-based Cablevision, said the offer is now terminated as a result of the decision and indicated that it might file an appeal with the Court of Appeal in
“The Altice Group regrets this decision, which goes against the interests of both companies, their shareholders and employees,” the company stated. It added that it believes the decision “was made in breach of applicable stock market regulations.” The company did not respond to requests for further comments before publication.
The offer to buy all outstanding shares in SFR was made just over two years after Altice acquired a majority shareholding in SFR from Vivendi in June 2014, despite deep opposition to the deal within
Altice also recently outlined a broader plan to implement a new corporate strategy called the “Altice way” at all units within the group including SFR.
The company has already implemented several new strategies at SFR, including the creation of SFR Media as part of a stronger focus on content and convergence. By acquiring all shares in SFR, Altice intends to simplify its group structure, improve organisational flexibility and cash flows, and facilitate the sharing of skills and best practices within the group.
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