Vivendi's Global Village Telecom (GVT) has now attracted the interest of three Latin American satellite and cable operators: DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV), Liberty Global (Nasdaq: LBTYA) and America Movil (NYSE: AMX) as well as a consortium of private equity companies.
Although Vivendi asked for €7 billion ($8.9 billion) for GVT, a report in Reuters indicates the four bidders are only willing to pony up a bid price of €6 billion ($7.76 billion).
GVT currently offers a mix of telephony, broadband internet and VoIP to residential and business users in 136 cities in Brazil.
The French conglomerate wants to offload the Latin American unit in addition to Moroccan subsidiary Maroc Telecom in an effort to cut debt and refocus its efforts on its core media business.
A person close to the matter told Reuters that "Vivendi is confident that they'll sell GVT before Maroc Telecom, in the first quarter of 2013," adding that "they have four bids and consider two of them serious."
According to previous reports, Brazil's Oi was interested in making a bid for GVT. However, a few days later it issued a statement saying it has no intention to place a bid on the company. Oi added that it looks at all business opportunities, but in GVT's case, the right financial conditions are not in place.
GVT could be attractive to both America Movil and DirecTV, two service providers that have a strong presence in Brazil. America Movil is the owner of Brazil's third-largest wireless operator Claro, in addition to commanding 23 percent of the broadband market and 37 percent of the pay-TV market. Likewise, Sky Brasil, DirecTV's Brazil-based satellite TV company, holds about 30 percent of the pay-TV market. A GVT purchase could help the satellite provider develop a broadband service offering.
Other potential bidders include private equity companies, including U.S.-based Providence Equity Partners Inc. and London-based Apax Partners LP.
- Reuters has this article
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