Vivendi to talk SFR stake in 2011

French media firm Vivendi will give up on hopes of acquiring Vodafone’s stake in domestic cellco SFR if the UK firm demands too high a price.
 
Vivendi chief Jean-Bernard Levy said Friday that negotiations to take full control of SFR will begin early next year, but cautioned that he won’t pay over the odds for Vodafone’s 44% stake in the carrier, which is estimated to be worth $7 billion (€5 billion), FT.com reports.
 
SFR will be the main focus for Vivendi in the medium term, rather than fresh acquisitions in emerging markets, Levy told the news site, adding that his long-stated goal of acquiring Vodafone’s stake won’t lead him to abandon discipline in terms of the price agreed.
 
Any deal with Vodafone will have to wait until Vivendi completes the sale of its stake in US broadcaster NBC Universal, which CFO Philippe Capron predicts will happen by the year-end, WSJ.com said.
 
Gaining full control of SFR would boost Vivendi’s dividends and flexibility, the news site reported.

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