Vivendi sells SFR to Numericable

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After a month-long takeover battle cable company Numericable has won the bid to buy mobile phone operator SFR.

Numericable offered 13.5 billion euros in cash and a 20 percent share in the combined company.

Following owner Vivendi’s decision to sell SFR to Numericable shares in the cable operator bounced some 15 percent.

Company founder Patrick Drahi is delighted by the acquisition:
“We’re going to create a national champion, a European champion by bringing together two excellent companies, with different but very complementary histories.”

The purchase means SFR/Numericable has some 28 million customers for its fixed line and mobile services, second only to Orange.

Bouygues lost out in the bidding war, despite being the governments prefered bidder, and has seen its shares drop as a result.

Vivendi said the deal with Numericable had more chance of regulatory approval.