Vivendi shares jump on Vodafone-SFR speculation

24th February 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 24 (AFP) - Shares in the French media and telecommunications group Vivendi Universal jumped Tuesday by 1.43 percent to EUR 22.70 after a director of British mobile giant Vodafone said it would one day own Vivendi's mobile operator SFR.

PARIS, Feb 24 (AFP) - Shares in the French media and telecommunications group Vivendi Universal jumped Tuesday by 1.43 percent to EUR 22.70 after a director of British mobile giant Vodafone said it would one day own Vivendi's mobile operator SFR.

The CAC index of leading shares was 0.23 percent lower in early trades.Vodafone already owns 43.9 percent of the French mobile operator, with Vivendi controlling the rest.

The British operator failed last week with a bid for the US group AT and T Wireless, and analysts have forecast that Vodafone would focus on SFR.

And Vodafone managing director Arun Sarin confirmed such talk, telling reporters Tuesday in Cannes that one day, SFR would belong to Vodafone.

Sarin nonetheless hastened to add that Vodafone had an excellent partnership with Vivendi, but France remains the only major European market in which Vodafone does not control a mobile operator.

Sarin, who was attending the 3GSM forum in the French Riviera town, added that there were still development opportunities in Europe, and particularly in eastern Europe.

In Paris, shares in Vivendi rose as dealers took the comments to mean it could be the next target of a takeover bid as a way of gaining control of SFR.

"Investors feel that Vivendi will be the next tarket of a public offer in the French market," one dealer said.

Another commented: "There are new rumors and in my opinion, little by little, everyone is going to come around to the idea of a market offer on Vivendi."

© AFP

                                                              Subject: France news
 

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