Vivendi nearing spin off, Bollore is new deputy chair

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Sep 12, 2013 10:01 AM EDT

A Bloomberg report said the Vivendi SA has been nearing its long-term decision to split the company into two businesses. In an announcement made yesterday, Vivendi said it would be conducting a formal study to split its telecommunication business and assemble its media assets as one international group to be based in France. Moreover, shareholder Vincent Bollore has been appointed as deputy chairman, ending the search for a chief executive of the beleaguered company.

Acknowledging the pressure Vivendi received from its investors to reorganize the company, Bloomberg said the change, should it be done, would be reminiscent of what Rupert Murdoch did to his News Corp.

Bollore expressed his approval over the spin off. In an interview with with Les Echos newspaper, he said, "The board agreed there were no synergies between telecoms and content, and that was dragging down Vivendi because of a holding structure discount. A split is an attractive plan, and it has my full support." Vivendi said that its final decision would be handed out early next year before the outcome would be taken to its shareholders.

Investor sentiment may have reflected their thoughts about the spin off in the company's share price today. Vivendi's shares climbed 3.2% to EUR17.23 per share at 9:05 in the Paris bourse. According to data compiled by Bloomber, however, the company is still trading similar to levels in 2008 at 1.26 times its book value. 

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