The week begins in beauty for Numericable, which adds to its portfolio the first of hexagonal French MVNO Virgin Mobile. 100% of the company’s shares will thus be transferred to Numericable Group.
Walking Altice, the parent of Numericable, the market for telecom hexagonal no longer seems able to stop. After winning the SFR market nose and beard of Bouygues Telecom in April, rumors began to emerge about a possible takeover of Virgin Mobile. The Full MVNO, at whose head office Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux, announced in mid-May entered into exclusive negotiations with Altice through redemption. The process of negotiations has now been validated by both parties, which this morning published a joint statement announcing the news. No mention is made of the redemption amount, but when entering into negotiations of both groups, the takeover offer had been increased to 325 million euros, a sum then ratified by the shareholders of Virgin Mobile. On its 325 million euros, 200 million were to be provided by Vivendi, whose SFR branch has just been bought by Numericable. One way to value one by buying another.
If the transaction has been validated both by Numericable (Altice group) by Virgin Mobile (OMEA Telecom group, which also owns Tele2 Mobile, Breizh Mobile and Casino Mobile), it must still be approved by the competition authority, “the operation is subject to obtaining approvals of competent administrative authorities, “says Numericable. With 1.7 million customers, Virgin Mobile, which currently relies on antennas of Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom according to its offerings, will strengthen the SFR subscriber base, at least if ARCEP agrees Altice.
With such redemption, the current president of Virgin Mobile, Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux should not leave empty-handed. As he stated in The Tribune last few weeks, he should go with a tidy budget of 25 million euros, as a shareholder of the brand. But it can not reinvest in the telecom sector, being held by a non-compete clause for a period of two years. As for the social implications of redemption, they are mentioned in the release date, which evokes a “very constructive dialogue with the representative bodies concerned.” Since the acquisition is expected to support a “new phase of development”, the Virgin Mobile brand, which currently has 75 stores over 300 advisers, should not disappear in the process.
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