French media and telecoms group Vivendi has reportedly secured control of Brazilian telco Global Village Telecom (GVT) by purchasing a majority stake in the company and launching a mandatory bid for all remaining shares, in the process trumping a rival bid from Telefonica of Spain. Paris-based Vivendi said on its web site it bid BRL56 per share for the firm, valuing the deal at BRL7.2 billion (USD4.18 billion). As a result, it says it now holds stock equivalent to 58% in the venture. ‘The acquisition of GVT is totally aligned with our strategy of secular expansion in rapid growth economies,’ commented Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy, ‘As it did some years ago in Morocco, Vivendi is committing itself to a large and lasting investment in Brazil, which both in the short and longer term will create value for our shareholders.’
Vivendi said in the announcement that it purchased 37.9% of GVT’s outstanding voting share capital, and has a right to buy 19.6% more through call options, giving it almost 58% of GVT. Through the deal Vivendi acquired the stakes of GVT’s controlling shareholders Global Village Telecom (Holland) BV and Swarth Group, as well as shares from smaller investors. Under Brazilian law, Vivendi filed a mandatory tender offer for GVT due to its acquisition of the controlling stake, the statement read.