Vivendi rejected $8.5 billion Softbank bid for Universal Music: FT

PARIS Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:24pm EDT

Jean-Francois Dubos, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Vivendi, speaks during the company's 2012 annual results presentation in Paris February 26, 2013. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Jean-Francois Dubos, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Vivendi, speaks during the company's 2012 annual results presentation in Paris February 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jacky Naegelen

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PARIS (Reuters) - Japanese telecoms group SoftBank Corp (9984.T) offered to pay $8.5 billion to acquire Universal Music but its owner, French media and entertainment conglomerate Vivendi (VIV.PA), rejected the bid, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the proposal.

The paper said the bid for the world's largest music group was made about three months ago. Vivendi spurned the offer because it sees music as central to its strategy, it said.

Vivendi is more than a year into a strategy review that has included attempted asset sales, including the ongoing sale of Maroc Telecom and the failed auction of Brazilian telecom unit GVT.

SoftBank officials could not immediately be reached for comment. Vivendi declined to comment.

(Reporting By Christian Plumb; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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