Multinational telco and media company Altice is to sell its Belgium and Luxembourg multiplay business, Coditel Brabant, to Telenet Group BVBA, a direct subsidiary of Telenet Group Holding for €400 million in cash.
In addition, Altice Group will provide transitional services.
The transaction will be subject to regulatory review by the Belgian authorities.
After a series of acquisitions over the past two years including deals for Portugal Telecom, Suddenlink in the US and France’s SFR, Altice’s move to sell the unit suggests the company is narrowing its focus on fewer, larger operations.
Altice acquired Coditel Brabant in 2003 for €82 million, rebranding the unit SFR Belgium. It provides cable services to households and businesses in Brussels, Wallonia and Luxembourg and offers mobile telephony services in Belgium through an MVNO Agreement with BASE.
The acquisition sees Telenet extend its cable footprint beyond the current Flemish and Brussels coverage areas to parts of Wallonia and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, while covering roughly two-thirds of the Brussels footprint post-acquisition.
Following the acquisition of the Belgian mobile operator BASE in February 2016, Telenet has been pursuing a strategy of positioning itself as a leading provider of converged connected entertainment and B2B services nationwide. The acquisition of SFR BeLux would give a major part of Brussels and part of Wallonia access to Telenet’s high quality video, high-speed Internet and fixed and mobile telephony services.
Telenet intends to finance the acquisition through a combination of existing cash and cash equivalents and available liquidity under its revolving credit facilities.
Telenet expects to invest approximately €12 million over the 2017-2018 timeframe beyond the normalised capex run-rate. Substantially all of the investments would be used to modernise the acquired cable network. In addition, Telenet expects to incur around €4 million of one-time integration expenses.
“We are very pleased with the acquisition of SFR BeLux as it would enable Telenet to extend its geographical footprint and offer approximately 90,000 customers in Belgium and 15,000 customers in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg the high-quality services for which our company has already won acclaim,” commented John Porter, Telenet CEO. “Following the BASE acquisition that was concluded in the beginning of the year, we have entered a new phase of growth and this acquisition is a next, very important step in this strategy. Our ambition is to have the best networks (fixed and mobile) and the best services (landline and mobile telephony – high-speed Internet – digital TV) in Belgium. We are also very delighted to be able to launch our great services in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on our own network.”