Vivendi to buy Vodafone's stake in SFR

The deal for the 44 percent of the French mobile operator that Vivendi doesn't already own is valued at $11.3 billion.

Vivendi announced today that it has agreed to acquire Vodafone's 44 percent stake in French mobile operator SFR for 7.95 billion euros ($11.3 billion).

The deal would give Vivendi, which already owned 56 percent of SFR shares, complete control of SFR--France's second largest carrier, with nearly 21 million customers.

"We are very pleased to reach our strategic objective to own 100 percent of SFR, which will help Vivendi to focus further on profitable growth and innovation," Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy said in a statement. "I am very confident that this will greatly benefit both the Group's industrial development and our millions of subscribers and consumers globally. The transaction will create a significant increase in Vivendi's adjusted net income, enabling us to raise the dividend to our shareholders."

Under the terms of the cash deal, Vodafone will receive 7.75 billion euros ($11 billion) and an addition 200 million euros ($284 million) in the form of SFR's final dividend.

"Our board remains committed to realising maximum value from our noncontrolled assets," Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said in a statement. "The sale of our stake in SFR, at an attractive multiple, represents a significant further step in the execution of this strategy."

Vodafone and SFR also announced that they would maintain a commercial partnership.

Vivendi said the deal is expected to close by the end of June, but is subject to customary Competition Authority approval.

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