French media and telecoms conglomerate Vivendi hopes to raise at least EUR7 billion (USD8.9 billion) from the sale of its Brazilian fixed and broadband asset Global Village Telecom (GVT). Reuters reports that the French company has attracted expressions of interest from at least four bidders, according to two unnamed sources with knowledge of the situation. Rumours suggest that Brazilian owned Oi SA, America Movil (AM) and Telecom Italia have held initial talks involving GVT, with several investment funds also in the frame. Vivendi’s asking price is however, double the figure it paid for the altnet in 2009. ‘Synergies between GVT and other Vivendi units were not as strong as the company first imagined,’ one of the sources told Reuters. ‘But that doesn’t mean that Vivendi will go on a New Year’s sale mode and sell off GVT at any price. There is no way that will happen.’
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database in August this year Vivendi hired the investment banking divisions of Rothschild and Deutsche Bank to review the strategic options for GVT. The French group began reviewing GVT’s operational structure hoping to reverse a 29% decline in its share price since January last year, sparking fresh rumours that Vivendi was looking to sell off the Brazilian telco. The French firm has since confirmed it is also looking to sell off its controlling stake in Maroc Telecom.