The FTTH market over in Europe may soon be a little less crowded, at least in France. Altice Europe today has announced that today its SFR FTTH subsidiary has signed an exclusivity agreement to acquire its competitor Covage.
Covage is the fourth largest wholesale FTTH provider in France, with plans to pass some 2.4M homes and a third of that build out. SFR FTTH is building out to 5.4M homes, also with a third built out, so the combined company will approach 8M homes passed if all goes to plan over the next few years.
SFR FTTH will be paying €1.0B in cash, a sum they will be financing via €465M from Altice, a matching sum from SFR's financial backers at OMERS, Allianz, and AXA, and €70M in other debt. Altice has been working on its balance sheet lately, looking to cut down its debt. They just sold 49.99% of SFR to those investors earlier this year. This move shows, however, that they still see expansion within the French market as attractive.
The European fiber M&A landscape seems to have been a bit busier this year, I wonder if the trend will continue to accelerate through the winter.
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