Altice Europe subsidiary Altice France has entered into an exclusivity agreement with three investment funds to sell a minority equity stake of 49.99 per cent in its French fibre optic business, SFR FTTH, for a total cash consideration of €1.8 billion based on a €3.6 billion equity value.
SFR FTTH will sell its wholesale services to all operators at the same terms and conditions, while Altice France will sell technical services to SFR FTTH for the construction, the subscriber connection and the maintenance of its FTTH network. The company says that the transaction is the first of its type in Europe, creating of one of the largest European FTTH wholesalers. The sale will allow SFR FTTH to deploy fibre massively in the next four years, at least a million homes passed per year, which will provide growth for SFR in France.
Altice’s founder, Patrick Drahi, said: ‘I am very pleased that three of the most renowned infrastructure investors in the world are becoming our partners and committing large resources to build the leading FTTH wholesaler in Europe.
‘With this transformational transaction and the various tower sales and partnerships announced earlier this year, Altice Europe has been able to crystallizse €8 billion of infrastructure value and obtain cash proceeds of €4 billion in total in a few months. Through these transactions, Altice France and Altice Europe will deleverage and will have access to new and cheaper liquidity to invest in its fibre infrastructure. This transaction is creating huge value for our group, providing more fibre to our customers and more revenues and liquidities to our companies. Thanks to its fibre strategy, SFR will grow and deleverage from 2019.’
The transaction is expected to occur in the first half of next year.