Revamped SFR targets Orange France

Having completed its €4.4 billion merger with fixed-line operator Neuf Cegetel, SFR is now targeting Orange France in enterprise services and content. The merger, which will see the disappearance of Neuf Cegetel as a brand, will boost the new company's expected revenue to €12 billion for 2008 and provide it with the size and clout to take on Orange.

According to Frank Esser, CEO of SFR, the company will now have around a 12 per cent share of the fixed enterprise market, and 36 per cent of the mobile enterprise spend, leaving plenty of potential for growth. "We are a real challenger to France Telecom."

SFR also plans to attack Orange's content business, and Esser was critical of Orange's investment in exclusive football rights and other content. "Our strategy is very different to that of Orange, which is starting to pay too much for content," said Esser, stating that Orange's recent €300 million spend on football rights in France amounted to "€30 per year per Orange customer. It's better to leave content to partners," Esser contended.

Esser also commented that he did not expect any change in the short term to SFR's shareholding. The company is presently 56 per cent owned by Vivendi and 44 per cent owned by Vodafone.

For more on this story:
- go to Total Telecom

Related articles:
Vodafone supports SFR's acquisition of cable operator. SFR story
Operators delay femtocell deployments. SFR story