Luxembourg-based telecoms group Altice has reportedly entered into discussions with an as-yet-unnamed company to dispose of its stakes in the Reunion and Mayotte units of its Outremer Telecom subsidiary, thus allowing it to clear a significant antitrust hurdle relating to its ongoing acquisition of French telco SFR. SFR is the dominant provider in both Reunion and Mayotte controlling almost two-thirds of the market in each instance, while Outremer ranks as a distant third, with less than 10% of the spoils; the two companies also compete with Orange in each market. While it has yet to be confirmed, it is believed that the Outremer assets in the Caribbean will not change hands, due to the different market make-up.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, on 5 April 2014 SFR’s parent Vivendi accepted a takeover offer for the telecoms unit from cable group Numericable, itself majority owned by Altice Group. Vivendi will receive EUR13.5 billion (USD18.36 billion), excluding adjustments, and will retain a 20% stake in the newly merged business entity, which it can sell at a later date.
Speaking to TeleGeography in March this year, Altice Investor Relations Director Richard Williams admitted: ‘Yes, there may be some issues here. We will discuss with the regulators and discover how much of an issue it is for them. We don’t have any early indications.’