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By: Stephen Bates

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Sunday, 14-Sep-2014 06:27 Email | Share | Bookmark
Vivendi’s Vincent Bollore Angles To Become Europe’s Powerhouse C

The aggressive Spanish telco was able to gazump Telecom Italia, in which Telefonica is also a significant shareholder, in that battle with an offer worth close to $10 billion, around half of itcash, by also offering Vivendi synergies with its newly acquired pay TV operations in Spain. That was significantly more attractive than Telecom Italias offer, which included offering Vivendi a 20% stake in Telecom Italia. The major questions to come out of the Telefonica-GVT deal, from a website European media perspective, is what Bollore plans to do next. Already flush with cash from the sales of its stakes in telcos SFR in France and Maroc Telecom in Morocco, as well as video download game publisher Activision Blizzard, Vivendis share price has risen more than 30% since September 2012. That was when Bollore first made public his intention to acquire a 5% stake in Vivendi, at the time an unwieldy combination of cable, film, telco, music and video game activities. Under Bollore, Vivendi has streamlined to focus on creating synergies among Canal Plus, Studio Canal and Universal Media Group, which Vivendi also owns. Studio Canal has established itself as a major global film biz player, financing the likes of Liam Neeson-starrer Non-Stop as well as the forthcoming attempt to launch a kids franchise with Harry Potter producer David Heymans Paddington, based on Michael Bonds much-loved Paddington Bear books. The timing may now be right for Vivendi to embark on its own spending spree. Telecom Italia, which lost out in its attempt to merge GVT with its own Brazilian mobile unit TIM Participacoes, has been left particularly vulnerable following its bruising battle with Telefonica. <br>More:

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