Altice Europe N.V. (Euronext ATC, ATCB) revealed November 30 its subsidiary Altice France has agreed to sell 49.99% of French network operator SFR FTTH to a group that comprises Allianz Capital Partners (ACP), AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets (AXA IM), and OMERS Infrastructure. Altice France expects to receive €1.8 billion in cash based on a €3.6 billion equity value. The deal is expected to close in the first half of next year.
The equity sale will help fund further fiber to the home (FTTH) network roll outs for SFR FTTH, a business unit of Altice-owned French service provider SFR, as it attempts to position itself as the largest alternative FTTH infrastructure wholesale operator in France. The company expects to pass 5 million homes by the end of this year, including 1 million homes of new construction. Thanks in part to the cash infusion, SFR FTTH will expand its FTTH footprint by at least 1 million homes in each of the next four years, says Altice.
“With this transformational transaction and the various tower sales and partnerships announced earlier this year, Altice Europe has been able to crystallize €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 fiber infrastructure,” commented Patrick Drahi, founder of Altice. “This transaction is creating huge value for our group, providing more fiber to our customers and more revenues and liquidities to our companies. Thanks to its fiber strategy, SFR will grow and deleverage from 2019.”
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