A number of minority shareholders including Charity & Investment Merger Arbitrage (CIMA) have objected to the plan. According to financial daily Les Echos, CIMA has written to the French markets regulator the AMF, alleging that two members of the administrative committee of SFR tasked with looking into the offer have ties to Altice, and that Accuracy, the firm tasked with evaluating the terms of the transaction, is biased.
According to CIMA, reports Les Echos, two administrative committee members are senior advisors to Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Rothschild & Cie Banque respectively, both of which have close ties to Altice.
CIMA also argues that Accuracy has failed to take into account that announcements by Altice led to a sharp fall in SFR’s share price in April.
The AMF is set to rule on whether Altice’s offer conforms to its regulations on Wednesday.
Altice is attempting to take control of the 22.5% of SFR that it does not already control. The group needs to pass a threshold of 95% of SFR’s shares to withdraw the service provider’s listing. The group says the aim of the move was to simplify the ownership structure and enhance organisational flexibility.