Green light for Altice’s Numericable acquisition

The French competition authority has given the green light for the acquisition of cable operator Numericable by minority shareholder Altice, the vehicle of investor Patrick Drahi. 

According to the regulator, the acquisition of the operator, which follows Numericable’s flotation on the Paris stock exchange, does not raise any competition issues.

Altice currently holds a 40% stake in Numericable, having acquired 5% each of the holdings of fellow shareholders Carlyle and Cinven.

Altice earlier this month announced its own plans to float on the NYSE Euronext stock exchange in Amsterdam at the end of this month, with the expectation of raising about €750 million.

The authorisation comes two days after Bloomberg reported that Vivendi was once again looking at the possibility of selling its SFR telecom subsidiary to Numericable. According to the report, Altice is driving renewed interest in a merger of the pair. However, Bloomberg said that no formal offer had been made and that it remained likely that Vivendi would instead spin off and float SFR.