Vivendi Shareholder Retreats from Sell-off Plan

09 June 2006

Norwegian financier Alexander Vik says he has called-off his Sebastian Holdings dogs from their pursuit of media and telecoms conglomerate Vivendi Universal.

The investment fund is reported to have ceased its prolonged manoeuvrings to make Vivendi dispose of its constituent businesses, which include pay-TV division Canal Plus and cellphone units SFR and Maroc Telecom.

Sebastian began its campaign earlier this year but has been strongly opposed by Vivendi's ceo Jean-Bernard Lévy and chairman Jean-René Fourtou.

They say the investor's proposal to dismantle the company would be impossible to carry out and would destroy shareholder value.

However, Fourtou has not dismissed a sale outright, hinting that the board might consider an offer that would give a premium of 20% to 30% over the company's current valuation.

Vik says his fund will continue to monitor the situation.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff