Following an in-depth review, Bouygues’ Board of Directors has decided unanimously not to follow up on Luxembourg-based telecoms company Altice Group’s offer to acquire Bouygues Telecom. The company’s management believes that Bouygues Telecom is particularly well positioned in the market, as it ‘has a strong and long-term competitive edge afforded by its portfolio of frequencies and its 4G network’; Bouygues Telecom has the means to return to an EBITDA a margin of at least 25% by 2017 (the same level as in 2011), a press release said. In addition, the board disclosed that Altice’s offer presented a significant execution risk, which should not be borne by Bouygues, particularly in terms of competition law in both the fixed and mobile markets. Furthermore, the offer does not factor in the imminent launch of the 700MHz frequencies auction process and its consequences on the deal. Finally, the management took into account the consequences of market consolidation on employment as well as the social risks inherent to such an operation when making its decision.
As reported by CommsUpdate earlier this week, Altice Group, majority-owned by French businessman Patrick Drahi, offered to acquire Bouygues Telecom via its subsidiary Numericable-SFR for EUR10.1 billion (USD11.3 billion).