French media and telcos giant Vivendi has received a binding $4.4 billion offer from Altice for its 20% stake in French cable co. Numericable-SFR. Vivendi retained the 20% stake following a deal last April with Altice founder Patrick Drahi to sell him its phone unit SFR for $23 billion and enable him to merge it with his cable company Numericable. The $45 a share offer price for the stake is nearly 20% lower than Numericable-SFR’s closing share price on Tuesday of $56.
Vivendi’s board will meet on Feb. 27 to decide on the next steps. If the deal goes through, it will give Vivendi chairman Vincent Bollore an even larger war chest to play with as he continues to redefine the French powerhouse as Europe’s most powerful media player. Vivendi owns the Canal Plus cable network and European film mini-major Studio Canal.
Already flush with cash from the sales of its stakes in telcos SFR…
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