Altice faces legal action from SFR minority shareholder

Monday 19 June 2017 | 11:30 CET | News

Asset management company CIMA (Charity & Investment Merger Arbitrage) has started legal action against Altice for misuse of corporate assets with regard to its subsidiary SFR, in which CIMA is a minority shareholder, reports Les Echos.

The case, which will be heard by the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris, centres on the decision by Altice to make SFR liable for the entirety of the EUR 80 million fine inflicted on the group in November 2016 for ‘gun-jumping’ practices. CIMA filed a complaint arguing that half of the fine should be incurred by Altice.

In addition, the asset management company is taking action over the way Altice plans to replace the SFR brand in France, which is valued at EUR 904 million in the operator's balance sheet. By adopting the Altice name, which belongs directly to Altice's founder Patrick Drahi, SFR will face costs associated to the rights for the new brand.

The legal case also questions SFR’s planned office move, which could see employees relocated from the existing headquarter in Saint-Denis to a new location south of Paris. In particular, CIMA claims that the new office space, owned by Drahi, is more expensive to rent than the existing location in Saint-Denis.

The minority shareholder had previously opposed Altice’s buyout offer for SFR, which was blocked by French stockmarket regulator AMF in October 2016. Since then, Altice has moved to increase further its majority stake in the operator, holding 90.44 percent of SFR’s equity and 90.49 percent of voting rights as of May. 

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Categories: General
Companies: Altice / SFR
Countries: France
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