French cable operator Numericable and its controlling shareholder Altice are together issuing high-yield bonds totaling an unprecedented €10 billion as part of their move to finance the acquisition of SFR.
Numericable is to raise €6.04 billion from its bond offering, while Altice plans to raise €4.150 billion.
JP Morgan is acting for Numericable, while Goldman Sachs is leading Altice’s operation.
The money will be raised in the US as well as in Europe, with Numericable raising €2.5 billion in euros and US$3.5 billion in dollars. Altice’s operation will be split on a 50:50 basis between euros and dollars.
Numericable is also raising €5.6 billion in bank debt syndicated by Deutsche Bank.
Numericable and Altice’s move is seen as evidence of a renewed appetite in the market for high-yield debt.
Numericable’s hand has been strengthened by its successful IPO and by the favourable ratings accorded to cable operators in the wake of Vodafone’s acquisition of Kabel Deutschland and ONO.
Vivendi has agreed to a period of exclusivity until February 28 next year to allow consultation with interested parties to the acquisition, with a completion deadline of April 30. As part of the exclusivity agreement, Numericable must finalise a firm offer by July 31 this year or five days after the conclusion of consultation with employees’ representatives.
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