Numericable SA (NUM) and its shareholder Altice SA (ATC) have got nine banks to arrange more than 8 billion euros ($11 billion) of debt to fund a proposed bid for Vivendi SA (VIV)’s telecommunications unit SFR, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA, Credit Agricole SA, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley have agreed to take part in the financing, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.
Numericable and Altice, both controlled by billionaire Patrick Drahi, are preparing a $20 billion offer for SFR, a separate person familiar with the matter said yesterday. The bid will include about 11 billion euros in cash, 3 billion euros in Numericable’s cable assets and a 750 million-euro capital increase by Altice, the person said.
Vivendi had said it would spin off France’s second-largest mobile-phone company as it focuses on its media businesses including Universal Music Group. The company held talks with lenders to arrange 7 billion euros of loans to back the spinoff, two people said last month.
Marie-Gabrielle Sorin, a representative for Numericable, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail and a telephone call seeking comment on the debt financing. Arthur Dreyfuss, a spokesman for Altice employed by Havas SA, declined to comment.