PARIS Private equity firms KKR and Apax Partners are teaming up to bid for French media group Vivendi's Brazilian telecoms subsidiary GVT, according to a Bloomberg report citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter.
The KKR-Apax group is said to be willing to pay as much as 5 billion euros ($6.8 billion) for GVT, below Vivendi's asking price of 8 billion, the report said. BTG Pactual Group, Latin America's largest investment bank, is "still considering" whether to join the bid, it added.
The group would be bidding against U.S. satellite firm DirecTV, which may be able to come closer to Vivendi's asking price because of the efficiencies the deal would create, the report said.
Spokespeople at Vivendi, Apax and KKR were unavailable for comment.
Earlier this month, a newspaper reported that BTG Pactual had pulled out of the race to acquire GVT.
Although GVT has been a growth driver for Vivendi, the French group has come to see funding its expansion as a burden while GVT's cash generation has not matched its heavy capital expenditures.
($1 = 0.7370 euros)
(Reporting by Lionel Laurent; Editing by Mark Potter)