updated 06:35 pm EDT, Sun April 3, 2011
Vivendi buys Vodafone stake in SFR
France's Vivendi said on Sunday that it was buying Vodafone's 44 percent share of SFR. The deal, worth 7.95 billion Euros ($11.32 billion), gives it complete control of the carrier. It and Vodafone will keep running SFR as a joint venture for three years, after which Vodafone would have to either talk to another provider or enter on its own.
The company didn't outline how service would change for subscribers other than that it would help SFR "focus further on profitable growth and innovation." It would at least be a benefit for share owners as Vivendi planned to raise the dividend paid out, encouraging more investment and a better cash position.
Government approval is expected sometime in June.
SFR may get a significant boost from the buyout. It has typically been smaller than market leader Orange and has had to fight against Bouygues Telecom as well. The move could also lead to more independence rather than following Vodafone's global strategy. [image via iPhon.fr]