Three bidders have shown an interest in acquiring the French ISP Alice, part of Telecom Italia, according to the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore. Neuf Cegetel, Iliad and Numericable are interested in buying the company.
Despite major marketing efforts, Alice still remains a small player in the French market with 882,000 subscribers at the end of September 2007. The value of the company is estimated to be between €600-650 million. Ypso, the French holding company of MSO Numéricable, is amongst the bidders.
The sale of the ISP comes at a time of consolidation in the French access market. Orange is now the largest ISP with 6.57 million subscribers, followed by Neuf Cegetel (3 million) and Free (2.62 million). Alice has its own IPTV service, offering about 180 channels in its basic tier.