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24 months


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Paris, France



Information & Communication

Presentation of the company

Created in 1987, the Iliad group, better known as Free, is a major player in the French consumer telecommunications market. Led by Xavier Niel, the group employs 9800 people and is based in Paris.

Since the launch of its activities in Italy in 2018, the group has had two distinct geographical areas: France and Italy.

The company’s main activities are broadband and very broadband packages:

  • In France: the group offers fixed-line offers (Internet, TV, telephone), mobile offers and hosting services under the Online, Debibox and Iliad Entreprises brands. The group has more than 20 million subscribers.
  • In Italy: only mobile offers were launched in May 2018 and already 1.5 million subscribers in a few months. The Italian subsidiary recently won a 5G mobile frequency portfolio following a call for tenders issued by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development.

The group has forged its success around 4 pillars: simplicity of offers, attractive prices, quality of services and innovation.

Iliad SA is listed on the Eurolist of Euronext Paris under the symbol "ILD". 

Project Description

The group wishes to borrow €100,000 over 24 months as part of the Grow Together operation. For the Iliad group, this is a communication project that will be carried out as part of the operation.

Thanks to the Grow Together operation, 11 major groups will lead the way in diversifying sources of financing for SMEs by borrowing on a lending platform.

Large groups are used to borrowing outside the banking system and diversifying their sources of funding. They have simple and easy access to credit.

In October 2014, a new regulation opening a breach in the banking monopoly allowed SMEs to borrow directly from individuals and institutions, in addition to their banks. Small and medium-sized companies can now do as big as large ones.

AccorHotels, The Adecco Group, Allianz France, Arkéa, Edenred, ENGIE, Iliad, JC Decaux, SUEZ, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and Webhelp are joining the transaction and showing their VSE/SME ecosystem that they can now finance themselves differently, thanks to lending platforms.

These 11 major sponsors, each borrowing €100,000 from October, give their VSE/SME partners the right to borrow up to €1,000,000 each, without any administrative costs.

This project, which is part of the Grow Together operation, is only available to individual investors on the platform. Unlike all the other projects presented on the platform, institutional investors and October’s management cannot lend on the projects of this campaign. 

Analyst’s Opinion

The borrower is a holding company whose revenues are derived from services invoiced to its subsidiaries. The financial analysis was carried out on consolidated financial statements, which reflect the Group’s performance.

With a turnover of €5.00 billion in 2017 and an experienced team, the group has a good track record combined with a double-digit operating margin.

The increase in revenue and profitability is mainly due to the mobile business. In the first half of 2018, revenue was stable at €2.4 billion and profitability was down slightly due to the loss related to the start of operations in Italy. In France, profitability increased driven by the mobile activities.

The forecast is based on 2017 figures.

The borrower has an excellent repayment capacity with a projected Fixed Charge Cover Ratio (FCCR) of 7.65 and an excellent financial structure, with a net debt/EBITDA ratio at June 2018 of 1.8 and a net debt/equity ratio at June 2018 of 95%.

The analysis of the project leads to a credit rating of A+ and an annual interest rate of 2.5%.

*The multiple of CCRF at 7.65 means that the company has a safety margin of 675% in relation to its ability to repay its credit maturities.

The expert opinion is given for information purposes on the basis of the information provided by the project leader and information from our databases (Scores & Decisions, Corporate Banking File). This opinion is only an element of reflection in the decision making of a lender to participate in the financing of a project. 

Strengths :

  • Good historical performance based on a diversified customer base.
  • Excellent repayment capacity with a projected CCRF of 7.65.
  • One of the main players in the communication sector in France and Italy, with more than 20 million subscribers.


  • A very competitive market and major competitors.