Belgium’s largest telecoms company Belgacom has agreed to sell its 5.8% stake in French fixed line operator neuf Cegetel to SFR, France’s second largest mobile operator, for a minimum price of EUR17 per share, valuing the deal at EUR187 million (USD239.2 million). which is majority owned by French media group Vivendi for EUR187 million. Belgacom says the transaction will result in a one-time capital gain of EUR67 million, although it could also receive additional payments if neuf Cegetel is floated on the stock exchange. The sale of shares is subject to the pro-rata pre-emption right of Groupe Louis Dreyfus under the terms and conditions of the neuf Cegetel shareholders’ agreement.
Commenting on the decision to sell, Belgacom’s president & chief executive Didier Bellens, said: ‘We would like to continue to focus on our core activities. The position of Belgacom in neuf Cegetel as a minority shareholder with no possible path to control did not give us the opportunity to realise synergies and create much shareholder value. Therefore it was the right moment to exit this financial participation at the best available terms and conditions.