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SFR-Numericable reportedly renewing interest in Bouygues

Bouygues Telecom

Bouygues Telecom

French quad-play service provider SFR-Numericable has indicated to analysts that it is willing to pay up to €8 billion to acquire its telecom subsidiary Bouygues Telecom, according to local press reports. 

According to a study by OFG Research, cited by BFM Business, SFR-Numericable has indicated it is willing to pay €8 billion for the operator.

SFR-Numericable’s principal shareholder Patrick Drahi is reportedly interested in acquiring the smaller operator because the reduction in the number of mobile operators from four to three could help arrest the price war that has afflicted the country’s service providers and also because Bouygues’ mobile network is seen as superior to that of SFR, with a more advanced 4G deployment.

Any acquisition could fall foul of the French regulator, which would be concerned about a diminution of competition.

A deal could also require an agreement with Free, given the likelihood that the regulator would require the sale of either the SFR or Bouygues mobile network to the latter as a condition for approving any agreement.

Bouygues chief Martin Bouygues has not so far shown any sign of a change of heart following his decision to develop the telecom unit independently, after losing out to Drahi in the battle to secure the acquisition of SFR.