PARIS, April 6 French cable company Numericable
will launch a rights issue worth up to 4.7 billion
euros ($6.44 billion) to help fund its acquisition of Vivendi
unit SFR, Numericable said on Sunday.
Numericable won a fierce month-long bidding war against
mobile rival Bouygues for the prize of SFR on Saturday
when Vivendi announced it had decided to go with Numericable's
offer, which combined 13.5 billion euros in cash, a 20 percent
stake in the combined entity and a potential milestone payment.
The takeover promises to reshape Europe's third-biggest
telecoms market after two years of brutal price competition
brought on by the arrival of low-cost rival Iliad into
the mobile arena.
Following the planned rights issue, which will be guaranteed
by the holding company of Numericable's billionaire backer
Patrick Drahi, the remainder of the cash payout - up to 8.8
billion euros - will be backed by debt financing, Numericable
Drahi and other executives will give more details at a press
conference on Monday, the statement said. Drahi's company Altice
will own 60 percent of the combined entity with
Vivendi owning 20 percent and the remainder floated on the stock
Private equity firms Cinven and Carlyle have agreed to
exchange their combined holdings of 35 percent in Numericable
for cash and shares in Altice, Numericable said.
($1 = 0.7303 Euros)
(Reporting by Lionel Laurent, editing by David Evans)