French broadband operator Numericable, which is majority owned by Altice Group of Luxembourg, will finalise the acquisition of SFR, the country’s second largest cellco in terms of subscribers, on 27 November, domestic newspaper La Tribune reports. Going forward, of the nine members that will make up the executive committee of Numericable-SFR, seven will come from Numericable; SFR’s HR executive Francois Rubichon will take up the post of director of internal communication and legal affairs, while Pascal Rialland, the current CEO of mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Virgin Mobile France, will oversee the enlarged company’s distribution network. Eric Denoyer, meanwhile, will assume the role of CEO of the new group.
As previously noted by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, on 5 April 2014 SFR’s parent Vivendi accepted a takeover offer for the company from Numericable. Altice Group would take a 60% controlling stake in the combined entity SFR-Numericable, which would be publicly listed in France with a free float of 20%, while Vivendi would retain a 20% share. A month later, the cableco entered into exclusive negotiations with Omea Telecom to buy Virgin Mobile France for an enterprise value of EUR325 million (USD445.79 million). Numericable stated that the acquisitions would help it accelerate its strategy of convergence between high speed fixed and mobile connections. The broadband operator also revealed at the time that Vivendi would contribute EUR200 million towards the Virgin Mobile deal, which is subject to regulatory approval from domestic competition watchdog Autorite de la Concurrence. Numericable is currently finalising Virgin Mobile’s acquisition, the company has said.