PARIS, March 20 (Reuters) - French conglomerate Bouygues said on Thursday it had improved its offer for Vivendi’s mobile phone unit SFR as it seeks to derail a bid from rival Numericable, which is already in exclusive talks with Vivendi.
Bouygues said in a statement it was raising the cash component of its offer by 1.85 billion euros ($2.55 billion) to 13.15 billion euros from 11.3 billion previously.
On March 14, Vivendi said it would enter three weeks of exclusive talks with cable group Numericable NUME.PA to finalise a deal around Numericable’s proposal to buy SFR for 11.75 billion euros ($16.4 billion) in cash, plus a stake in the resulting business.
The decision was seen as a blow to Bouygues who had also bid for SFR.
Under its initial proposal, Bouygues had offered Vivendi 11.3 billion euros in cash and a 43 percent stake in the combined entity, which would be spun off and listed on the stock market if regulatory approval was secured.
Vivendi is now being offered a 67 percent stake in the new combined entity.
$1 = 0.7255 Euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Andrew Callus