Acquisition of Bouygues Telecom: who wants to recover what between Orange, SFR and Free?
Negotiations around the acquisition of Bouygues Telecom are intensifying with Orange, but also with SFR and Free. Thus, the operator of the Bouygues group would be sold for 10 billion euros, a valuation in line with Martin Bouygues’ expectations, report Le Figaro. But beyond the amount, it is the distribution of assets that is at the heart of the discussions.
As regards the distribution of assets, Free would recover frequencies from Bouygues Telecom estimated at around 2 billion euros, which would allow it to strengthen its network. Finally, there is also the question of the distribution of the operator’s 12 million subscribers, Orange only wishing to keep high-end customers (around 2 million), still according to Le Figaro. SFR and Free would therefore share the balance.
This distribution of assets is important for the authorization of this transaction. In January, Sébastien Soriano, the president of Arcep (the telecoms gendarme) declared that “this transaction must not, if it takes place, result in a strengthening of Orange’s position (…). Be careful not to go back in opening the sector to competition. The gains for consumers remain fragile ”.
As a reminder, Bouygues Telecom achieved a turnover of 1.16 billion euros in the third quarter of 2015 (latest published results), for EBITDA of € 242 million and current operating income of € 45 million. Since its failure to buy SFR (finally acquired by Altice-Numericable), the operator has found itself in a fragile situation. Several takeover offers were then submitted to it, including one from Altice last year, which the Bouygues board of directors finally declined.
Read also: Bouygues in the arms of Orange: key dates for the concentration of telecoms