Xavier Niel proposes to privatize his Iliad telecom empire

Iliad SA update

The billionaire entrepreneur Xavier Niel initiated a takeover offer to privatize the French telecommunications company Iliad he founded 22 years ago. For one of the richest people in France, a strategy has happened. Unexpected changes.

This is the buyer’s use Undervalued Listed European telecommunications company. Another French Telecom billionaire Patrick Drahi (Patrick Drahi) Europe The group was privately owned last year, and in June British Telecom Group. Private equity buyers have also been hovering among European telecom companies. So far this year, Iliad’s share price has fallen by a third.

Niel already owns approximately 71% of Iliad’s equity, a mobile and broadband provider that has gained fame in France due to price cuts. Iliad markets its products under the Free brand, and also built a mobile business from scratch in Italy, and made its first major acquisition when it took over last year Polish games.

The company said in a statement that the tender will provide existing shareholders with 182 euros per share, a premium of about 50% over the average share price in the past month.

Before the announcement, Iliad’s share price closed at 113 euros on Thursday. The company’s market capitalization is 10.8 billion euros.

Neal repurchased another part of the capital at a price of 120 euros per share in 2019, when the stock stagnated at half of its all-time high, so he has strengthened his control over the Iliad.

Neal said in a statement: “From now on, the new stage of Iliad’s development will require faster transformation and substantial investment, which will be easier to conduct as a private company.” “Our ambition for Iliad is to accelerate. Become a leader in European telecommunications.”

The company said that Iliad’s board of directors “welcomed” the proposal and set up a committee to review its fairness and terms to minority shareholders.

JPMorgan Chase and Lazard are advising Niel. BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole and Societe Generale will organize tender offers.

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