Vivendi: break up of France’s media giant studied

PARIS (AP) — Vivendi says it is considering a plan to break off its French mobile telecommunications business from the rest of its music, television and film operations.

The owner of Universal Music record producer and Canal Plus TV and film studio says in a statement Wednesday that a decision on breaking itself into two separate companies could come in early 2014.

The company, which under ex-CEO Jean-Marie Messier went on a debt-fuelled global acquisition binge based on a strategy of convergence between distribution and content, now says hiving off its SFR telecoms operator “would create significant value to shareholders.”

SFR earlier this year got its fourth CEO in 15 months, testimony to the turbulence in the French mobile industry and to incessant rumors the company would be forced to sell the business.

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