More details of French merger

13 May 2005

The French fixed line operators Cegetel and neuf telecom have unveiled more details of their merger plans. The combined entity, which will have annual sales of around EUR2.8 billion, is set become France’s largest alternative wireline telco. At the end of March neuf claimed 540,000 ADSL subscribers while Cegetel had 338,000. The pair say they aim to have four million residential customers, including two million ADSL users, by 2007, and they are also hoping to capture up to 20% of the business market. The merger, which is still to be approved by French regulators, will save the telcos around EUR190 million in cost synergies. The new company will be headed by neuf telecom’s current chairman, Jacques Veyrat, with Cegetel shareholders holding a 28% stake and neuf telecom shareholders the remainder.

France, neuf Cegetel