After rumors circulated last week about the potential interest French media company Vivendi had in selling its mobile and telco unit SFR, reports out of France are suggesting that cable TV operator Numéricable may be in talks with Vivendi about SFR.
The latest reports suggest that a deal between Numericable and Vivendi may not be a straight sale of SFR, but a possible merger in which Vivendi could have a large stake.
SFR has about 20 million mobile customers, and 5 million fixed-line customer, while Numericable has just over 400,000 analog video customers, and about 944,000 triple play customers.
Initial reports last week positioned mobile giant Vodafone as a possible suitor for SFR, which would be a surprising development to occur not even a year and a half after Vivendi acquired Vodafone's 44 percent stake in SFR. Within months after Vivendi completed that deal, it made a number of cost-cutting moves at SFR, and sought to re-draw SFR's strategic plans. There also has been much speculation that a deal for SFR could be difficult to make now because the company has struggled with subscriber declines and accusations from competitors about unfair pricing practices.
- see this Broadband TV News report
Rumors of an SFR sale were circulating last week
Numericable formed a partnership with SRS Labs in 2010