Vivendi in talks for controlling stake in Zain Africa

10 Jul 2009

French media and telecoms conglomerate Vivendi has confirmed it is in talks to acquire a majority stake in the African mobile business of Kuwaiti group Zain, as it looks to increase its presence in emerging markets. According to the Financial Times, quoting people familiar with the situation, Vivendi approached Zain with an informal offer for the assets last week, thought to be in the region of USD10 billion to USD11 billion. It is thought the French group is keen to purchase between 51% and 65% of the African business, which includes mobile businesses in 15 African countries, including Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda. Zain bought the African businesses, previously called Celtel, for USD3.4 billion in 2005. An unconfirmed report from Euroweek this morning claims the French group is seeking a EUR6.13 billion loan to help fund its African aspirations.

France