UPDATE 1-Numericable to launch 4.7 bln euro capital hike on Wednesday - source

mardi 28 octobre 2014 21h16
 

(Updates with background, Wednesday press conference)

LONDON Oct 28 (Reuters) - French cable telecoms operator Numericable is to launch a 4.7 billion-euro ($6 billion) capital hike on Wednesday to finance its takeover of Vivendi's SFR mobile network operator, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The SFR deal, which involves 13.5 billion euros in cash, a 20 percent stake in the combined entity for Vivendi and a potential milestone payment, received conditional approval from France's competition authority on Monday.

The company is scheduled to hold a news conference on Wednesday morning.

Numericable, controlled by billionaire Patrick Drahi, beat out rival Bouygues to acquire SFR after a month-long bidding war.

Its purchase of SFR would create the second-biggest player behind Orange and ahead of Bouygues in a reshaped French telecoms market.

France's competition authority said on Monday that the company would have to divest certain assets and make its cable network temporarily available to competitors in order to give them time to develop their own high-speed broadband networks.

Those conditions were no threat to the project, said Numericable, whose shares have risen more than 80 percent since the start of the year.

Numericable expects it will take at least a month to close the deal after receiving the regulatory green light.

The company posted a third-quarter loss of 94.4 million euros ($119.8 million) in the three months to Sept 30, versus a year-earlier profit of 12.8 million, because of costs related to the planned SFR takeover. (1 US dollar = 0.7847 euro) (Reporting by Sophie Sassard, editing by William Hardy)