Vivendi hasn’t reopened Lagardère Canal+ talks

French telco Vivendi has not reopened talks to buy rival Lagardère’s 20 per cent stake in pay-TV unit Canal Plus, Vivendi chief Jean-Bernard Levy has told French newspaper Le Figaro.

Vivendi, which owns 80 per cent of Canal Plus, failed in a previous attempt to buy the stake from Lagardère, which opted instead for a stock-market listing. The IPO has been delayed since the Japan earthquake disaster hit markets in March.

“We have not reopened negotiations with Lagardère,” Levy told Le Figaro.

Vivendi’s CEO is moving to take full control of some units in a bid to reduce the group’s conglomerate share-price discount. The recent acquisition of Vodafone’s stake in telecoms brand SFR will give Vivendi €2 billion in extra profits over four years.

“With 100 per cent of SFR, we have better access to its cash, and moreover a strong increase in Vivendi’s profit,” he said.

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