Vivendi takes control of SFR

Media giant buys Vodafone's 44% stake

By ELSA KESLASSY CANNES
European media giant Vivendi has inked with U.K. mobile company Vodafone to acquire the latter’s 44% stake in SFR, one of Gaul’s major mobile and broadband companies, for €7.75 billion ($11 billion).
Deal, which will build Vivendi’s mobile content biz, should wrap by the end of June.
“We are pleased to reach our strategic objective of owning 100% of SFR, which will help Vivendi to focus further on profitable growth and innovation,” said Jean-Bernard Levy, chairman-CEO of Vivendi. “The transaction will create a significant increase in Vivendi’s adjusted net income, enabling us to raise the dividend to our shareholders.”
In addition, SFR and Vodafone have renewed their commercial agreement for another three years.
Vivendi recently announced that its revenues rose 6.4% to $41.1 billion in 2010, fueled by its Activision-Blizzard gaming arm and telco interests.
Pact was announced at Mip TV, where Vivendi is exclusive sponsor of the Connected Creativity Party, which will reward the two most innovative startups at the mart’s inaugural edition of the Connected Creativity Venture and Content 360 Festival.

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