Vivendi swoops on Brazil's GVT

Europe’s biggest entertainment group Vivendi, has snatched control of Brazilian carrier GVT away from rival bidder Telefónica.

Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy described the transaction as “the revenge of the underdog.” Vivendi outbid Telefonica with its US$4.18 billion(€2.79b) offer trumping Telefonica’s US$4 billion bid.
 
Vivendi acquired the 39.7% stake, late last week and has unconditional options to buy a further 19.6%. Vivendi said it was launching a mandatory tender offer for 100% of the carrier’s capital at R$56 per share, valuing the company at R$7.2bn (€2.7 billion).
 
“Our offer of R$56 per share to acquire the control of GVT reflects the exceptional quality of this operator and its teams, as we have been able to confirm after a thorough analysis of its business model and performance record,” Lévy said in a statement.
 
Vivendi confirmed that it had agreed to buy 29.9% of GVT's shares held by the controlling shareholders, Swarth Investments, Swarth Investments Holdings, and Global Village Telecom (Holland).
 
Levy is tipped to selling Vivendi’s stake in NBC Universal next, which would allow him to further his ambition to expand in emerging markets and boost the Paris-based media company’s revenue growth.
 
The window for Vivendi to sell its 20% stake in NBC, valued at about €4.2 billion, opened yesterday. Under the deal with General Electric, which owns the rest of the television network, Vivendi can notify GE of its intention to sell the stake between November 15- December 10 every year until 2016.

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