Xavier Niel mulls Millicom bid

X_Niel @Joel Saget AFP Photo_2.jpg

Xavier Niel (@Joel Saget/AFP; Source: Groupe Iliad)

French telecoms and media tycoon Xavier Niel, owner of Iliad Group, is considering making an offer to take control of Latin American service provider Millicom.

NIel’s Atlas Investissement investment vehicle followed up a Bloomberg report by confirming that it was exploring financing options for an offer.

“In light of media reports, Atlas Investissement announces that it is exploring a potential all cash tender offer for Millicom securities,” it said, adding that it was exploring financing options to support an offer price of US$24 per common share, and its Swedish krone equivalent per Swedish Depository Receipt.

It added that “given the preliminary nature of these efforts”, it “cannot guarantee that an offer will materialize”.

Millicom confirmed that it had received a non-binding expression of interest from Atlas and said its board would review any offer, should one be made.

Atlas Investissement currently holds a 29% stake in Millicom. Niel initially took a 7% stake in the operator in 2022.

In June last year, Millicom ended discussions about a potential sale of the company to Apollo Global Management at a time when Niel was building his stake. It had previously engaged in talks with Liberty Latin America.

Millicom has about 45 million customers in nine markets in the Caribbean and Latin America through its TIGO brand. In addition to its mobile business the company has a fibre and cable fixed footprint covering over 14 million homes passed.

Niel has been highly active of late in taking stakes in a number of operators internationally, including Proximus in Belgium, Tele2 in Sweden and, most recently, Volia in Ukraine.

Through Iliad, he also has operations in Italy and owns Play in Poland.

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