French telecom operator Numericable and its parent company Altice said Monday they are planning to issue more than 10 billion euros ($13.8 billion) of bonds to fund their acquisition of SFR.
Numericable Group, which is buying the mobile phone operator from Vivendi in a deal worth more than 17 billion euros, will issue 6.04 billion euros or equivalent in another currency of senior high yield bonds, said a company statement.
Luxembourg-based Altice will also issue 4.15 billion euros or equivalent of bonds.
Media reports said investor meetings for the issue started in London on Monday, hosted by Altice's founder Patrick Drahi. Pricing of the bonds is expected by April 23.
The deal with Altice/Numericable, which Vivendi accepted this month after rejecting a rival offer from telecoms group Bouyges, will involve an initial payment of 13.5 billion euros then another for 750 million euros.
Standard & Poor's raised Vivendi's outlook Monday from negative to stable and confirmed its credit rating at BBB for long-term debt and A-2 for short-term debt.
The fate of SFR was seen as having a big impact on the structure of mobile phone services in France against a background of consolidation in European markets.