Shareholders in Vivendi’s SFR may want to move their money other way, but they may not be able to pull out their cash that easily. Apparently, the French government indicated its unease over the possible sale of the carrier, with the country’s minister for digital economy Fleur Pellerin saying that France may move to block a sale depending upon the circumstances.
In an interview to Le Figaro, Pellerin said the government will make sure SFR doesn’t end up in the “hands of unscrupulous shareholders.” He went on to add: “SFR is a particularly sensitive and strategic business for France, and the state will be very attentive to the evolution of the capital of SFR. We are also paying special attention to the capital structure of Vivendi.”
The rumors of Vivendi disposing SFR started following the appointment to its board of Vincent Bolloré, a French billionaire better known as a corporate raider with particular skills in restructuring ailing companies and disposing of ill-fitting subsidiaries.
On the other hand, UBS analyst Polo Tang thinks that Vivendi will have problems selling out its telecom unit, saying that the process will “either take longer than expected to achieve or that prices may be lower than expected.” We’ll let you know when we hear something new on this…