French mobile operator SFR yesterday announced it has increased its ownership of alternative fixed line and broadband provider neuf Cegetel to 96.41% after its offer for outstanding shares in the telco closed. SFR, backed by the entertainment group Vivendi, took control of neuf Cegetel in April this year as part of a wider plan to enable it to compete more effectively with former monopoly operator France Telecom. It subsequently launched a public offer for the remaining neuf shares, Reuters writes, priced at EUR36.50 (USD56.66) per share (including its 2007 dividend), or EUR35.90 per share after the dividend payment. The cellco also acquired the 28.45% stake held by the Louis Dreyfus Group for around EUR2 billion. Based on the EUR36.50 share price, neuf Cegetel’s market valuation is approximately EUR7.7 billion. SFR now plans to buy any remaining shares in neuf via a compulsory purchase.