In a statement, SFR-Numericable majority owner Altice said it had “entered into exclusivity with the Hiridjee Group, controlling shareholder of Telma, the leading telecom operator in Madagascar, for the sale of its mobile activities in La Reunion and Mayotte, pursuant to the requirement and subject to the approval of the French antitrust authority.”
Malagasy entrepreneur Hassanein Hiridjee, a French national, has interest in a number of fields including construction and banking as well as telecoms. Telma has about 1.5 million subscribers.
According to French financial daily Les Echos, which initially broke the story, the transaction has been been led by Lazard.
SFR-Numericable was obliged to divest Outremer Telecom, its operator in French overseas territories, as a condition of the acquisition of SFR by Numericable, both of which owned operators in Réunion and Mayotte.
The operator attracted the regulator’s attention recently after it was accused of raising Outremer’s prices to drive subscribers to SFR’s local subsidiaries, SRR and SMR, ahead of a sale. The price increases were swiftly reversed to head of the threat that the French competition watchdog could rescind approval of the SFR acquisition.