French mobile operator SFR, backed by media and telecoms conglomerate Vivendi, has launched a formal public offer for rival French telecoms group neuf Cegetel, Dow Jones reports. SFR has reportedly submitted a filing with the country’s stock exchange watchdog AMF committing to acquiring the neuf Cegetel shares it does not already own for EUR35.90 (USD55.56) per share between 19 May and 13 June. The filing also confirmed SFR already owns 77.9% of neuf’s shares.
On 16 April SFR and parent company Vivendi announced they had received permission from the government to close the purchase of the stake held in neuf Cegetel by the Louis Dreyfus Group. SFR outlined a EUR4.4 billion deal to buy the alternative telco in December 2007. The SFR/neuf Cegetel tie-up will create France’s second largest operator and provide a credible competitor to dominant telco France Telecom.