France’s Vivendi approves plan to siphon off struggling telecom company SFR

PARIS – The supervisory board of French entertainment company Vivendi has approved a plan to siphon off its struggling telecom unit SFR.

The demerger plan, which will see Vivendi shareholders get shares in SFR, will be submitted to the relevant workers groups and regulatory authorities. The aim is to include it on the agenda of the next annual shareholders’ meeting in June.

The demerger is part of a wider plan by the owner of Universal Music and Canal Plus TV to refocus Vivendi’s business around media and content only. Earlier this year, Vivendi signed a final agreement to sell its stake in Maroc Telecom to UAE-based telecoms company Etisalat for 4.2 billion euros ($5.7 billion).

Vivendi had previously gone on an acquisition binge to bring together content and distribution under one roof.