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Vivendi confirms plans to demerge SFR

Bouygues Telecom is persisting with its efforts to acquire rival operator SFR

The board of French multimedia group Vivendi has unanimously voted to demerge its mobile operator business SFR, following a formal study launched in September this year.

The group will now submit a demerger plan to the relevant work councils and regulatory authorities and include it on the agenda of the next annual shareholders’ meeting in June 2014.

The group had previously said that splitting into two firms: a media business and a mobile operator, would allow SFR more freedom on strategy and a greater ability to develop partnerships.

Vivendi explained that an option it is considering is distributing SFR shares to its shareholders when the demerger takes place. This would offer shareholders the opportunity to invest in two separate businesses listed on the stock market, the group said. Those businesses would be valued according to the conditions in their own separate sectors, rather than as part of a wider group, it added.

Vivendi’s Management Board will be composed of chairman and CEO of SFR Jean-Yves Charlie and Arnaud de Puyfontaine, senior EVP in charge of Vivendi’s media and content activities, until the completion of the demerger plan.

SFR is France’s second placed operator, according to Informa’s WCIS, with 23.17 million subscribers as of September 2013, trailing Orange with  26.8 million subscribers.

 

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