Vivendi "prefers" Numericable in SFR bid battle-govt minister

PARIS, March 14 Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:32am EDT

PARIS, March 14 (Reuters) - France's industry minister Arnaud Montebourg said on Friday he believed media group Vivendi preferred the offer made by cable group Numericable for its SFR telecoms business over that proposed by conglomerate Bouygues.

Asked on French radio whether he thought that meant Numericable's offer had been chosen, he said "I don't know. That's for them to say. What we have understood, the government, is that they prefer the choice of Numericable."

He also said there were some concerns about a Numericable win including over the size of the company relative to its target, its debt level, the domicile of a major shareholder and the prospects for French jobs.

"What I understand is that that poses a certain number of problems, mainly because Numericable is a small enterprise compared with SFR."

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