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«Vivendi Sells Off GVT»

gvt-logo

Source:  Portal ClippingMP.

BTG Pactual, the investment bank led by André Esteves, has dropped out of the running for Brazilian telephone company GVT, controlled since 2009 by the French communications and entertainment groupo Vivendi.

At the outset, the company was pursued by four suitors, but that number fell to three when BTG, due to a combination of factors, including … price, as Valor discovered. BTG has no comment on the story. It is believed that Esteves could rethink the company’s offer and rejoin the fray.

The sale of GVT is in its “data room” phase, opening its books to interested parties. Binding offers are expected in February, but in the meantime, the company’s data has undergone constant, though minor, adjustments.

The three groups still in the running are (1) the consortium comprising the American fund KKR, the Brazilian asset manager Gávea —  founded by former Brazilian central bank chairman Armínio Fraga — and Cambuhy Investimentos; (2) Apax, a Brazilian private equity partnership; and (3) the American DirecTV.

GVT has been valued at some R$16 billion. When it decided to sell off its Brazilian holdings, Vivendi decided to offer  between €7 billion e €9 billion for GVT. As soon as bidding began, Vivendi showed signs of a willingness to accept R$19 bilhões, or €6.3 billion.

In 2009, a Vivendi invested R$ 7.5 billion in the purchase of 100% of GVT after disputing the deal with Telefónica.

The value of  GVT as estimated by the interested parties places it above its competitor, Oi, with its R$15 billion in market capital. The Telefonica-Vivo group has a market value of R$55.7 on the São Paulo Stock Exchange | Bovespa.

I wish it were easier to call up share price data from the Web site of the BMF-Bovespa.

Brazilian blog Fusões e Acquisições has been tracking the deal since June of last year.

Vivendi began to consider divesting itself of  GVT after a failed attempt to sell off Activision Blizzard, its digital gaming unit. Sources say, however, that the company was not willing to pay the offer price. “Selling off GVT is no longer a taboo subject and is being discussed internally,”said one source. But Vivendi has not yet hired an investment bank to sell the company off.

Vivendi, a conglomerate whose holdings range from telecom to entertainment, is reviewing its internal structure in order to shore up its falling share price.  Investment banks have submitted investment plans that provide for the sale of business units or the complete dismembering of the Vivendi group.

Valued at  [?]20.5 billion, Vivendi is led by board chairman Jean-René Fourtou, 72, who took over after former CEO Jean-Bernard Levy announced he was leaving last month, citing a falling out among board members over how best to restructure the group.

Vivendi’s share price has recovered somewhat in the meantime, from €13.63 to €17.