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Vivendi aims to offload SFR

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12:29 CEST+02:00
French media and telecom group Vivendi is in talks to merge its embattled mobile and internet unit SFR with cable operator Numericable, news media reported.

According to the Journal du Dimanche on Sunday, Vivendi and Numericable have been in talks for weeks on a deal that would give France a mobile and high-speed internet giant and greatly dilute Vivendi's stake in SFR.

Vivendi has been looking for months to reduce its exposure to the French mobile phone market, a once profitable business thrown in disarray by the arrival of low-cost operator Free in January.

The Journal du Dimanche reported that Vivendi was considering other ways to divest itself of SFR including a sale to former partner Vodafone and a full-blown share spin-off.

The reports sent shares in Vivendi rising sharply on Monday. In morning trading, Vivendi shares were showing a gain of 2.68 percent in a Paris market up 1.02 percent.

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