Vivendi CEO says future lies in content, media business

PARIS Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:01pm EST

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PARIS Dec 16 (Reuters) - Vivendi's future lies in the content and media business, and the French group may announce asset sales of its telecom units by its next annual shareholders meeting in April, its chief executive said in remarks published on Sunday.

In an interview with Les Echos newspaper, Jean Fran├žois Dubos said the conglomerate, which began a strategy review in May, intended to boost its flagging share price and pay down debt, had not received firm offers yet for its three telecom units.

Sale processes are underway for the units in Brazil and Morocco, sources earlier told Reuters, while Dubos told Les Echos that the future of its French operator SFR would depend in part on whether French regulators approve network sharing deals or mergers.

"One thing is certain, we have all the assets to assert ourselves as a European, even global leader in content and media," Dubos said.

"In this field there is a real growth market and we have the know-how and some real global champions," he said, citing among others television channel Canal+.

Dubos said the company still needed to define its strategy.

As for SFR, Vivendi's biggest unit, but which is suffering from intense competition in the French mobile market, Dubos said that he thought it was worth nearly 20 billion euros ($26.22 billion).

"We will choose the solution ... that creates the added value and will suit the government and regulatory authorities," he said. ($1 = 0.7628 euros) (Reporting By Leila Abboud and John Irish; Editing by Marguerita Choy)