PARIS, April 4 Bouygues said it had
submitted a "substantially improved offer" for Vivendi's SFR
telecom unit, hours ahead of a decisive Vivendi board
meeting over the sale on Friday.
French cable operator Numericable was best placed
to win the bidding war for SFR, said two people familiar with
the matter before the fresh Bouygues offer came out.
Numericable, and its parent company Altice, have
been in exclusive talks with Vivendi over SFR since being chosen
as the preferred bidder on March 14.
But Bouygues refuses to bow out and its last-minute offer
includes 15 billion euros ($20.57 billion) in cash and would
leave Vivendi with a 10 percent stake in the new company at deal
Bouygues would hold 51 percent and outside investors,
including France's CDC state-backed investment fund and
additional parties, would hold 39 percent.
It said the new offer valued SFR at 16 billion euros before
synergies were taken into account.
($1 = 0.7291 Euros)
(Reporting by Leila Abboud)