Vivendi’s Hungarian telco up for grabs

8 Jan 2003

Financially troubled French media group Vivendi Universal has announced plans to sell its Hungarian telecoms subsidiary, Vivendi Telecom Hungary, as part of a scheme to help reduce its debt. The company hopes to sell the Hungarian telco – which operates nine of 54 local telecoms concessions in the country and controls around 12% of the fixed line market – for around USD450 million. The process is expected to be finalised this Thursday, with the company to be sold to a consortium which includes private equity groups AIG Global Investment and GMT Communications Partners. The Hungarian government supports the sale, regarding it as a further development in the break-up of the PTO Matáv’s dominant hold on the market. Vivendi hopes to raise EUR16 billion from asset sales by the end of 2004, and is expected to sell all its international telecoms operations to focus solely on its domestic businesses.