PARIS, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Shares in French satellite
company Eutelsat surged on Thursday after the company
rejected a bid proposal from billionaire Patrick Drahi, whose
business interests include auction house Sotheby's and media
"Eutelsat Communications confirms that the proposal received
from Mr. Patrick Drahi - and rejected unanimously by the
relevant governance bodies of the company - prices Eutelsat at
12.10 euros per share, all dividend attached," it said.
Eutelsat shares were up by 15.6% at 11.97 euros in early
trade - just below Drahi's bid proposal - and giving the company
a stock market value of around 2.4 billion euros .
Reuters earlier reported that Drahi had made a bid approach
for Eutelsat and held talks with its top investors including
state-backed Bpifrance which has a 20% stake in the company.
Analysts at Credit Suisse wrote that the presence of the
French state's shareholding in Eutelsat, via Bpifrance, could be
the main hurdle to a deal going through, given how satellites
are a strategically important asset for France.
"Let's not forget the French state gave Eutelsat a very
sizeable tax break two years ago so how do you justify to the
taxpayer/voter it is okay to now let a Swiss-based oligarch to
pocket this tax break?," added a London-based analyst.
($1 = 1.1614 euros)
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Gwenaelle Barzic, Pamela
Barbaglia and Anait Miridzhanian; editing by Jason Neely, Elaine
Hardcastle and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)