Vivendi, the French media and telecoms conglomerate, has set the wheels in motion for a stock market listing of its SFR telecoms unit, which runs France’s second-biggest mobile operator behind Orange.
According to a Reuters source, Vivendi has hired Generale and Citigroup as lead banks for the SFR listing.
“The calendar is basically aiming… for a fall IPO window,” said the unnamed source, adding the move is part of Vivendi’s efforts to trim its focus on music and pay-tv.
SFR has been struggling in its home market, feeling the heat of competition from Iliad – a low-cost mobile and fixed-line operator – which might put a dampener on the IPO.
A mix of competitive and regulatory pressure saw year-on-year revenue drop at Vivendi’s French telecoms division 11.3 per cent, to €5.1 billion, during H1 2013. Mobile revenue slumped 17.4 per cent, to €3.2 billion.
The French 4G market, too, is heating up with third-placed Bouygues recently launching LTE services
As part of its move away from telecoms, Vivendi is in talks to sell its stake in Maroc Telecom.