SFR viable as standalone business: report

The boss of French mobile operator SFR has said the company does not have to merge with a rival to remain a viable business, according to French publication le Journal du Dimanche.

Chief executive Jean-Yves Charlier is reported to have said the operator could continue to executive its strategy as a standalone player.

SFR (Paris, France) is a subsidiary of French telecoms and media conglomerate Vivendi (Paris, France), which has recently appeared intent on divesting itself of various telecoms assets and focusing on its core media interests.

The boss of French mobile operator SFR has said the company does not have to merge with a rival to remain a viable business, according to French publication le Journal du Dimanche.

Chief executive Jean-Yves Charlier is reported to have said the operator could continue to executive its strategy as a standalone player.

SFR (Paris, France) is a subsidiary of French telecoms and media conglomerate Vivendi (Paris, France), which has recently appeared intent on divesting itself of various telecoms assets and focusing on its core media interests.

However, Charlier reckons SFR could remain one of France’s biggest players even if it does not merge with a rival, according to le Journal du Dimanche.

The report comes after Vivendi said it would make a decision on whether to spin off SFR by early 2014, and with analysts questioning the attractiveness of SFR as a takeover target.

The operator has been under pressure in France’s mobile market ever since the entry in early 2012 of Iliad (Paris, France), which has continued to put pressure on the incumbents with its range of low-cost tariffs.

For the first six months of the year, the company reported an 11.3% fall in revenues, to €5.1 billion ($6.9 billion), with earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization dropping by 20.5%, to €1.5 billion.

Vivendi has described “the pursuit of SFR’s adaptation to new market conditions” as one of its strategic priorities.