Vivendi wary of paying too much for SFR if Vodafone wants out

22 Nov 2010

French media and telecoms conglomerate Vivendi is looking to acquire Vodafone’s 44% holding in their French mobile joint venture SFR, although shareholders are wary of paying too much for the asset. After many statements in recent years saying it was not interested in selling, Vodafone has now hinted at exiting its French venture and Vivendi’s CEO, Jean-Bernard Levy, has repeatedly made it clear he would be keen to buy. However with a sale now tipped as imminent, the pair look set to lock horns over SFR’s valuation, and Mr Levy last week confirmed he would turn his back on a deal if the asking price was too high. The chief executive said last Friday he hopes to begin negotiations with Vodafone about the SFR stake once his firm has signed off on the sale of its 20% stake in NBC Universal.

France, SFR, Vivendi, Vodafone Group