French billionaire Xavier Niel is joining rival Patrick Drahi in taking his phone company private after customer losses and heavy spending sent its shares into a steady decline.
Iliad SA shares jumped as much as 62% to Niel’s offer price of 182 euros. The deal values Iliad at about 10.85 billion euros ($12.9 billion), according to Bloomberg calculations.
Iliad shook up the French market more than two decades ago with its low-cost cable TV and Internet services. Lately the industry’s focus has shifted to combined fiber broadband, mobile and TV, forcing Iliad to redouble its network investment.