Telefonica Enters Bid for GVT of $8.99 Billion
Telefonica SA the telecom giant from Spain is offering 6.7 billion euros or $8.99 billion in cash and stock for GVT, the Brazilian unit of Vivendi SA, in a deal that would shore up the company’s leadership in the largest market in Latin America.
In a prepared statement on Tuesday, Telefonica said that if it is successful with its bid it plans to combine Vivo, its Brazilian unit with GVT.
Vivendi, a company from France, said that while it does not have any subsidiaries currently for sale, it nevertheless would study the Telefonica bid.
The next Vivendi board meeting is to take place prior to the reports earnings for the company on August 28.
Vivo currently is the largest operator in Brazil by subscribers.
Telefonica has wanted to expand its unit for a long time, because it is involved in costly market share battle with other rivals, which has eaten away at profit margins
If Vivendi accepts the 6.7 billion euros bid for GVT, the shares of Vivendi would be 23 euros apiece.
There could be a rival offer from Telecom Italia for GVT and the bidding pressuring will be very positive for Vivendi.
Observers are skeptical that Vivendi will accept an offer with a cash component that is low of close to 60%, which could leave it a minority shareholder in the Brazil business of Telefonica.
Analysts said that the response by Vivendi to this offer is a way to flush out other counterbids.
The telecom market in Brazil currently is made up of four strong competitors including America Movil SA from Mexico, Telecom Italia SpA, plus other operators such as GVT that offer cable television, broadband and fixed-telephone services.
The bid by Telefonica follows a long period of speculation about its potential interest in acquiring GVT, which France’s Vivendi had tried in 2013 and failed to sell for a good price.
The ambitions for Telefonica in Brazil until recently were hampered by large debt, but its situation financially had improved, partly due to a collapse in costs of borrowing for Spanish companies.