PARIS Nov 15 Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris is
interested in buying the SFR telecom business from French group
Vivendi, which is in the midst of a strategy review and
working on asset sales, the Financial Times reported on
"We are looking at (SFR) through one of our subsidiaries,"
the FT quoted Sawiris as saying. "The problem is that the
numbers are very high. (Vivendi owns) big assets so would
require a big group."
Sawiris told Le Figaro newspaper earlier this week that he
was interested in opportunities in France, but said that he had
"no chance", given the four main telecom operators in the
country were "Franco-French".
Sawiris, which lost out to private equity firm Apax Partners
in an auction to buy France Telecom's Swiss unit, said
on Monday that he had offered to buy a stake in heavily indebted
Italian group Telecom Italia.
Vivendi Chief Financial Officer Philippe Capron said earlier
this week when asked about its plans for SFR and media reports
of possible combinations that there was an "effervescence" in
the French telecom world.
"Everyone is talking to everyone and we have to talk to
various parties to look at our options," he said.
He declined to comment on specific asset sales, saying the
group's strategic review was going ahead "at full speed", though
there was no fixed calendar for decisions.
Vivendi declined to comment.
(Reporting by James Regan. Additional reporting by Gwenaelle
Barzic. Editing by Jane Merriman)