SFR becomes France's leading content operator

Le 27 / 04 / 16 | Posté par Xiao-ou HSU
SFR becomes France's leading content operator
  • SFR to acquire Altice's minority investment in NextRadioTV
  • SFR enters into exclusive negotiations to acquire Altice Media Group France
  • Launch of new sports and news channels in France
  • Next evolution in press and information distribution using SFR platform

SFR embraces global convergence: telecoms, media and advertising

SFR announces today the acquisition of Altice N.V.'s 49% minority stake in NextRadioTV, acquired in December 2015 as part of its strategic partnership with Alain Weill. NextRadioTV is a benchmark operator in the French information ecosystem, focused on mainstream news, sports, business, high-tech and discovery. NextRadioTV operates powerful businesses and media brands such as BFMTV and RMC (France's fourth TV group and fourth radio station, respectively, in terms of audience), as well as RMC Sport, RMC Découverte, BMF Business, (6 million unique visitors monthly) and (4 million unique visitors monthly). NextRadioTV also owns a minority interest in the Numéro 23 channel.

The proposed transaction values NextRadioTV at an enterprise value of €741 million[1]. The interest in NextRadioTV is acquired by SFR at cost relative to the original price paid by Altice N.V. Together, the transaction value represents 7.9x Adjusted EBITDA pro forma for synergies and tax losses carried forward.

Moreover, SFR announces today that it has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire Altice Media Group France, a leading diversified and profitable media group in France, which publishes more than 20 major national titles, including iconic and well-known brands such as Libération, L'Express, L'Expansion, L'Etudiant and Stratégies. Altice Media Group France operates an international news channel - i24 News - and is has positioned itself as the second largest operator in the French digital press sector. In addition, Altice Media Group France is a leading event organizer: its Salon de l'Etudiant trade fair, in particular, has attracted 2 million visitors annually for more than 30 years.

The proposed transaction values Altice Media Group France at an enterprise value of €241 million or 4.5x Adjusted EBITDA pro forma for synergies and tax losses carried forward.

The proposed transaction will be presented to relevant bodies representing the employees of Altice Media Group France for consultation before entering final negotiations.

Both transactions represent a unique opportunity to develop SFR into a true cross-media content publisher, capitalizing on a highly diversified portfolio of premium brands. The acquisitions support SFR's business strategy by accelerating the deployment of the global convergence of telecoms + media/content + advertising.

The two proposed transactions were approved by SFR's Board of Directors on 26 April 2016.

BNP Paribas acted as SFR's financial advisor in these transactions. Rothschild & Cie (for the Altice Media Group France transaction) and Ricol Lasteyrie (for the NextRadioTV transaction) provided valuation opinions to SFR's Board of Directors.

The transactions will be funded by a combination of SFR's own resources. €100 million of the Altice Media Group France purchase price will be deferred by one year from closing. Pro forma for both transactions, SFR's year-end 2015 pro forma leverage marginally increases from 3.8x to 3.9x.

SFR will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. with Michel Combes and Alain Weill to present SFR's content and convergence strategy, as well as announcing new initiatives.

[1] Including N23. NextRadioTV has a path to control after 2017 subject to regulatory approvals.