Vivendi was not immediately reachable for
comment. Altice declined to comment.
The transaction under discussion would see Altice have a
majority stake in the combined group, while Vivendi would hold
32 percent, according to Les Echos.
The deal would be carried out via about 8 billion euros of debt
and would lead to synergies of 6 billion, the paper added.
Vivendi's former cash cow, SFR has been hammered by a price war
started when rival Iliad <ILD.PA> undercut it with its low-cost
"Free Mobile" offer, forcing it to spend money to try and keep
Cable operator Numericable, which listed on the stock market in
November in France's biggest initial public offering since 2009,
had previously been seen as a potential takeover target for SFR
and rival Bouygues Telecom <BOUY.PA>.
Altice also owns French and Belgian cable companies and mobile
operations in Israel, and itself listed on the stock exchange at
the end of last month.
Altice, built via a decade of acquisitions, is surfing a wave of
investor interest in the European cable sector as a growing
number of consumers turn to these companies for television and
broadband at faster speeds and lower prices than from telecoms
($1 = 0.7275 euros)
(Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic and
Leila Abboud; writing by James Regan; editing by Eric Walsh)
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