Vivendi to sell SFR to Altice for up to $19.5B

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Associated Press

Posted on April 5, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 5 at 11:02 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Vivendi says it will sell SFR, the No. 2 mobile phone operator in France, to media company Altice in a deal that could be worth up to $19.5 billion.

Vivendi says it accepted a bid worth 13.5 billion euros ($18.5 billion). The deal also includes additional payments of up to 750 million euros ($1.03 billion). Vivendi will keep a 20 percent stake in SFR but says it may sell those holdings at a later date.

Altice owns the French cable operator Numericable.

Vivendi wants to focus on its other businesses, Universal Music Group and Canal+ pay television.

The French company entered exclusive negotiations with Altice in March. The conglomerate Bouygues also wanted to buy SFR, offering as much as 15 billion euros ($20.6 billion) Friday.

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