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Vivendi reveals 6.7b euro bid for its Brazilian GVT

French media group Vivendi has received a firm bid worth 6.7 billion euros (S$11.2 billion) for its Brazilian telecom subsidiary GVT from Spanish group Telefonica, it said on Tuesday (Aug 5).

PARIS: French media group Vivendi has received a firm bid worth 6.7 billion euros (S$11.2 billion) for its Brazilian telecom subsidiary GVT from Spanish group Telefonica, it said on Tuesday (Aug 5).

Shares in Vivendi, which has refocused its business on media activities, jumped 3.15 per cent to 19.5 euros in early trading, in an overall French market showing a gain of 0.78 per cent. GVT is Vivendi's last remaining asset in the telecom sector. The offer was worth 20.1 billion reals (US$8.9 billion). Vivendi said that although GVT was not formally for sale, it would consider the offer.

The bid was based on an offer of 60 per cent in cash and 40 per cent in shares in Vivo which is Telefonica's brand name in Brazil. Vivendi would end up with 12 per cent of Vivo which, with the transfer of GVT, would become the biggest telecom operator in the biggest market in Latin America, Telefonica said in a separate statement.

Vivendi, if it accepted the offer, would also have the possibility of buying 8.1 per cent of Telecom Italia. The biggest shareholder in the Italian company is Telco, controlled by Telefonica. Telefonica said that its offer was valid until September 3. The cash part of the bid would be financed by a capital increase by Telefonica Brazil. Telefonica would subscribe to this fully in respect of its 74.0-per cent interest in that company.

In 2013, GVT was courted by US satellite television operator DirectTV which saw a tie-up as a way of boosting its activities in Latin America. But DirectTV eventually abandoned this approach. Press reports said that the US firm had offered the equivalent of 5.8 billion euros (S$9.67 billion) for GVT, less than the 7.3 billion euros (S$12.2 billion) which Vivendi considers it is worth.

Vivendi bought GVT in 2009 for 2.8 billion euros (S$4.67 billion). Since then the Brazilian company, regarded as a low-price operator, has grown rapidly.