Drahi’s Path From French Village to Rebuff by Bouygues: Timeline

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Patrick Drahi’s offer to acquire Bouygues SA’s telecommunications unit was rejected by the company’s board in a setback for the billionaire seeking to expand his European telecommunications empire.

With a net worth of $21.8 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Drahi’s gathered European phone and cable assets largely away from the public eye. The 51-year-old has turned a first venture in southern France two decades ago into domestic cable and phone powerhouse Numericable-SFR SAS, starting with a series of deals in the 1990s.

Here is a timeline of Drahi’s transactions on the way to Tuesday’s rejection from Bouygues Telecom.

2015 June: Altice acquires Oi SA’s Portuguese assets for about 7.4 billion euros ($8.3 billion), ahead of a rival bid by Apax Partners LLP and Bain Capital LLC.

2015 May: Drahi decides against a bid for Time Warner Cable Inc. despite having lined up backing from lenders because Altice isn’t ready for an acquisition of that scope, he told a hearing at France’s National Assembly. Charter Communications Inc., whose largest shareholder is John Malone, instead agrees to buy the second-largest U.S. cable company for about $55 billion.

2015 May: Altice SA agreed to buy 70 percent of Suddenlink Communications in a deal valuing the seventh-largest U.S. cable company at $9.1 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015.

2015 May: Drahi to pay a total of about 3.7 billion euros to buy Vivendi SA’s 20 percent in Numericable-SFR, the carrier he created by merging France’s largest cable company with the second-biggest wireless provider.

2014 April: Altice SA won the bidding contest for Vivendi SA’s French phone unit SFR, beating a government-backed offer from Bouygues by agreeing to a deal valued at more than 17 billion euros.

2014 February: Altice stepped up plans for a potential takeover of mobile carrier Bouygues Telecom, examining the financial and regulatory obstacles to a transaction with France’s third-largest wireless provider, people familiar with the matter said.

2014 January: Initial public offering of Altice in Amsterdam raises 1.3 billion euros.

2013 November: Altice agreed to buy the Dominican Republic unit of Orange SA for $1.4 billion after earlier acquiring Tricom SA and Global Interlink Ltd. to expand its television, Internet and telephone business in the Caribbean.

2013 November: IPO of Numericable in Paris raises about 650 million euros.

2012: Drahi offers to buy out remaining shareholders in Israel’s Hot Telecommunication through his Cool Holding Ltd. in a bid valuing the fixed-line and mobile-phone provider at 2.7 billion shekels ($700 million).

2011: Drahi’s MIRS Communications Ltd. is one of two winners of Israeli mobile-phone services licenses, increasing competition in a market controlled by three major operators.

2010: Drahi spends more than $700 million in the year in the Israeli phone market, buying stakes in Hot Telecommunication and MIRS Communication Ltd.

2009: Drahi, Hot Telecommunication System Ltd.’s controlling shareholder, agrees to buy Israel’s MIRS Communication Ltd. for $170 million.

2007: Carlyle Group LP invested in Numericable, now France’s largest cable provider, by buying 35 percent of the French cable company from British buyout firm Cinven Ltd. for an undisclosed price. Cinven remains a shareholder.

2006: Liberty Global Inc. agrees to 1.25 billion euro sale of its UPC France unit to Altice and Cinven.

2004: Cinven and Altice win European Union antitrust approval to buy the cable assets of France Telecom SA, Canal Plus SA and Telediffusion de France for 528 million euros.

2002: Drahi founds investment holding group Altice, eventually acquiring stakes in companies from Belgium to Mauritius, including Israeli cable TV provider Hot Telecommunication System, Portuguese cable company Cabovisao and Odo, the Dominican Republic’s second-largest mobile operator.

1999: Drahi sells one of his cable companies to John Malone.

1990s: Bought and sold cable companies, deals that eventually led to the creation of Numericable.

Mid-1990s: Founds first cable venture, a tiny operator, in the village of Cavaillon in southern France.

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