According to Reuters, citing an unnamed source, Altice has pushed back the move because of a delay in securing regulatory approval for the purchase from French markets watchdog the AMF.
The latter is expected to rule on the transaction in the week beginning October 3, according to the news agency. Altice had previously anticipated that its public offer would run from September 22- October 20.
Altice is offering €24.72 per share, a small premium on SFR’s share price. The move has attracted opposition from minority investors, including Charity & Investment Merger Arbitrage (CIMA), which has reportedly written to the AMF to allege 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.
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.