Free could save SFR by buying part of Altice

Samir Rahmoune

September 19, 2023 at 1:50 p.m.


SFR © photofort 77 /

© photofort 77 / Shutterstock

Patrick Drahi’s Altice group is currently in difficult times and must sell to be able to pay its debts.

Altice is not doing well in 2023, with debt relating to the purchase of SFR a decade ago continuing to weigh on its revenues. So, to recover, the group chaired by Patrick Drahi must sell, to bring in money. And it seems, in this context, that an operation involving Xavier Niel is possible.

A debt of 60 billion to be paid off

Despite its torments, SFR had long been the pride of Patrick Drahi’s Altice group. But the telephone operator has recorded disappointing results for several years, which do not help to keep the group afloat. And there is enough to plunge very low when we see the level of debt, which amounts to some 60 billion euros.

So, after the frenzy of growth, it is now the turn of downsizing at Altice. 92 data centers will soon be sold by the group. And if SFR is, according to The echoes, an asset whose sale would be a complicated operation, one of its subsidiaries abroad could on the other hand quickly bring in new money.

Altice © © Reuters


Meo, the good deal?

Indeed, Altice wants to sell Meo, the number 1 fixed telephone operator in Portugal. On the surface, this choice may be surprising, since this country is the place of origin of the explosion of the corruption scandal which is currently putting the group in difficulty. But Altice, 100% owner of the company, can easily carry out this operation. And this could pay off big.

The group already wanted to sell Meo in 2021 for 8 billion euros, a transaction which was then aborted for lack of a buyer. This time, there might well be someone interested, and at an even more attractive price. According to The echoesIliad, Xavier Niel’s group which notably owns the operator Free, could in fact acquire Meo.

Sources: Freebox universe, The echoes

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