French markets regulator probes SFR bid battle process

PARIS Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:36am EDT

General view of the logo above a store of French cable operator Numericable in Paris, March 7, 2014. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

General view of the logo above a store of French cable operator Numericable in Paris, March 7, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Charles Platiau

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PARIS (Reuters) - France's stock market regulator AMF has opened an inquiry into the purchase by cable firm Numericable's (NUME.PA) of Vivendi's (VIV.PA) telecom unit SFR, a French business newsletter reported on Friday.

Neither the regulator nor the companies concerned, including unsuccessful SFR bidder Bouygues, (BOUY.PA) would comment on the report in La Lettre de l'Expansion, which did not disclose its sources.

During the battle for SFR, involving bids and counterbids before Vivendi chose Numericable's offer over one from Bouygues, the AMF had called on those involved to be more transparent and fully respect financial disclosure rules.

"The AMF went to the offices of all the parties[including bankers and communication advisors] that were working for Vivendi and the two bidders for SFR," said the newsletter.

"The investigators took copies of emails and documents linked to the deal."

(Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic; Writing by Brian Love; Editing by Natalie Huet)

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