Numericable secures EUR11.64bn debt financing to bankroll SFR acquisition

10 Apr 2014

French internet service provider (ISP) Numericable has secured EUR11.64 billion (USD16.12 billion) worth of loans to support the acquisition of domestic telco SFR, a subsidiary of French media group Vivendi. The financing includes a EUR5.6 billion six-year ‘term loan B’ (consisting of EUR2.6 billion tranche and a EUR3 billion tranche denominated in dollars) and EUR6.04 billion-equivalent of bonds. The package also includes a EUR750 million five-year revolving credit facility. The debt has been underwritten by nine banks – Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan (also acting as global co-ordinators), and joint bookrunners Barclays, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, Credit Suisse, ING and Morgan Stanley.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Vivendi announced on 5 April 2014 that its Supervisory Board had accepted a takeover offer for its domestic telecoms unit SFR from Numericable (and its majority shareholder Altice Group of Luxembourg), which involves a EUR13.5 billion cash payment and gives Vivendi a 20% stake in the resultant SFR-Numericable group. Following the deal’s announcement, Numericable revealed that it will launch a rights issue worth up to EUR4.7 billion to help fund the acquisition of SFR, to be guaranteed by the holding company of Altice/Numericable financial backer Patrick Drahi. The remaining EUR8.8 billion of the cash price tag will be funded by debt.

France, Altice Europe (formerly Altice Group), Altice France (SFR), SFR