Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Neuf Cegetel to Acquire AOL France for EUR 288 Million

Neuf Cegetel agreed to acquire AOL's French Internet access business, including 500,000 broadband customers, and its AMSE operation, which manages AOL France's customer service operations (500 people), for EUR 288 million.

Under the deal, AOL will provide audience services and manage the online advertising sales for Neuf Cegetel's Internet portal audience on and as well as, which together total 9 million unique visitors monthly.

Neuf Cegetel said the acquisition reinforces its position as the leading alternative provider in its markets: mass market, enterprises and operators. In the mass market, AOL's 500,000 broadband customers should allow Neuf Cegetel to reach 2 million ADSL subscribers before the end of 2006, a year earlier than planned. And, by encouraging AOL's dial-up customers to migrate to broadband access, Neuf Cegetel expects to accelerate the growth of its market share.

By the end of 2006, Neuf Cegetel plans to offer all of AOL's broadband customers additional broadband services, such as Neuf TV DSL TV, mobile telephony and TWIN -- its GSM-WiFi fixed mobile convergence offering.


  • Earlier this month, Telecom Italia agreed to acquire Time Warner's AOL Germany Internet access business for EUR 675 million ($870 million, Equity Value) in cash. Under the deal, AOL will provide co-branded audience services and content on a joint web portal for all of Telecom Italia's residential Internet access subscribers in Germany and will handle all online advertising sales. As of June 2006, AOL Germany, ranked second and third among German narrowband and broadband access providers, had 1.1 million broadband subscribers and approximately 1.3 million narrowband subscribers.

  • Neuf Cegetel operates its own national network infrastructure in France comprising nearly 45,000 kilometers of fiber optic cables. The company has invested heavily in the rollout of its DSL access network with a presence in over 1,000 subscriber exchanges.

  • Neuf Cegetel is also the leading unbundled line operator in Europe, with 1.7 million unbundled lines. As of June 2006, it has a presence in all segments of the market, providing a wide range of services to more than 3 million Mass Market customers, including 1.4 million broadband customers. 124,000 corporate sites are connected to its network and 200 telecoms and Internet service providers benefit from its Wholesale services.

  • Neuf Cegetel's two key shareholders are the Louis Dreyfus and SFR groups. The company reported pro forma revenues of 2,752 million euros in 2005 on a pro forma basis (EUR 1.826 billion on a historical basis).

See also