Vivendi Shares Soar as Rumours Multiply of Vodafone Bid

16 October 2002

Shares in beleaguered Vivendi Universal leapt by 8% Tuesday following French newspaper reports that global mobile network giant Vodafone is mulling a bid.

According to La Tribune, there is mounting impatience at Vodafone over foot-dragging in its negotiations to buy Vivendi’s 44% stake in Cegetel, controller of France's second largest mobile phone company SFR. In an attempt to bulldoze the logjam, Tribune reveals that Vodafone has sounded-out Vivendi’s leading shareholder, the Canadian Bronfman clan, to see if they would support a €16.3bn ($15.99bn; £10.31bn) bid for the entirety of the media group.

If such a deal was inked, Vodafone would immediately sell-off Vivendi’s media and publishing properties, leaving Vodafone in sole possession of the much-coveted Cegetel plus other telecoms holdings such as Morocco Telecom.

La Tribune did not quote its sources for the story, which has been denied by unnamed insiders at Vodafone. Vivendi refused to comment.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff