Vivendi in Canal Plus for long haul

The chief executive of Vivendi has dismissed renewed talk on that his group may sell pay-TV unit Canal Plus. The statement followed speculation that the French media giant might exit Canal Plus in order to buy telecom operator Neuf Cegetel and so avoid possible competition issues.

Vivendi has a 56 per cent stake in mobile operator SFR, which already has 40.5 per cent of Neuf Cegetel.

“We are very attached to Canal Plus, which still has years of growth rationalisation and improvement of profitability ahead of it,” said Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy. He added that Vivendi, which owns 65 per cent of Canal Plus, would eventually own 100 percent of the company as provided for under an agreement with Canal Plus’s main shareholders.

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