The French media and communications group Vivendi is reportedly mulling the sale of its Brazilian telecoms asset, fixed and broadband provider Global Village Telecom (GVT), as it looks to shore up its faltering share price. Reuters quotes sources familiar with the matter as saying that the divestment of GVT – something of a jewel in the crown – could generate returns of up to EUR8.5 billion (USD10.4 billion) for the battered media group, and has leapfrogged the planned sale of video games unit Activision Blizzard on Vivendi’s priority list. ‘A sale of GVT is no longer taboo and is now being considered internally,’ one of the unnamed sources said.
It is understood that no banks or institutions have been hired to conduct the sale or even canvas interest in GVT, but it is apparent that the French group’s board has moved from seeing GVT as a must keep asset to one that it would sell – if the price is right. The beleaguered telecoms and entertainment group is currently reviewing its operational structure as it looks to halt and reverse a sustained slump in its share price. As part of the review, a number of investment banks have been suggesting ideas on the sale of certain of its assets, or indeed, breaking up the business completely.