Vivendi to buy neuf Cegetel in EUR4.5bn deal

21 Dec 2007

The Paris-based media and telecoms conglomerate Vivendi has reportedly agreed a EUR4.5 billion (USD6.4 billion) deal to buy a 28.64% stake in French alternative operator neuf Cegetel from the Louis Dreyfus group. Earlier this week it emerged that Vivendi’s French mobile unit SFR, the owner of 40.5% of neuf Cegetel, was in talks to buy full control of the company – the nation’s third largest fixed line operator – for about EUR5 billion (USD7.2 billion). Vivendi, which recently acquired the computer gaming firm Activision, also hinted at further deals to come with an announcement that it planned to raise up to EUR2 billion from shareholders ‘at the appropriate time’. The group’s chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy has made no secret of his interest in acquiring Vodafone’s 44% stake in SFR – the country’s second biggest mobile operator by subscribers – which, so far, the UK-based group has refused to sell.

France, neuf Cegetel, SFR, Vodafone Group