French broadband operator Numericable, which is majority owned by private equity fund Altice Group of Luxembourg, has launched a EUR4.7 billion (USD5.99 billion) capital hike in order to partly fund its takeover of Vivendi’s telecoms arm SFR, which received the conditional approval of antitrust watchdog the Autorite de la Concurrence on 27 October. Each shareholder of Numericable will receive one preferential subscription right for every share they hold as of the close of trading on 30 October 2014. Numericable said that it would offer 15 new shares for every seven existing ones at EUR17.82 per share; the subscription period will run from 31 October to 12 November.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, on 5 April 2014 Vivendi accepted Altice’s takeover offer for SFR and the two sides signed a definitive merger agreement covering the tie-up of their respective subsidiaries in June, following the successful completion of negotiations with the Employee Works Councils. Vivendi will receive EUR13.5 billion, excluding adjustments, and will retain a 20% stake in the newly merged business entity, which it can sell at a later stage, following the expiration of a one-year lock-up period. The deal received the conditional approval of the French competition authority earlier this week; the Autorite de la Concurrence ruled that the combined SFR-Numericable entity has to divest its mobile operations in the French overseas territories of Reunion and Mayotte, sell its DSL network to business-to-business infrastructure-based telecoms company Completel and allow rival operators to access its cable networks temporarily in order to receive final approval of the deal.