Bouygues ups SFR offer, trumping Numericable's bid

Bouygues is now offering Vivendi (VIVHY) €13.15B ($18.1B) in cash for rival French carrier SFR, along with a 21.5% stake in the combined entity. Numericable has offered €11.75B in cash and a 32% stake.

The cash portion of Bouygues' bid has been raised by €1.85B. The company asserts its new offer grants SFR a value of €17.4B after factoring synergies, and that it plans an immediate IPO for the combined entity, thus giving Vivendi a chance to quickly monetize its stake.

Last week, Vivendi said it would hold exclusive talks with Numericable parent Altice for three weeks before making a decision. Bouygues, meanwhile, tried to appease regulators by agreeing to sell assets to rival Iliad (Free) in the event of an SFR deal.

Orange (ORAN +0.5%) investors are hoping Bouygues wins out, thereby cutting the number of French mobile carriers to three. Shares rallied last week on news of the Iliad deal, and turned positive today after Bouygues upped its SFR offer.

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