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Jul 29, 2013

Merged Publicis-Omnicom may speak with American accent

PARIS (Reuters) – The advertising giant to be formed from the merger of Publicis (PUBP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Omnicom (OMC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) may resolve any clash between its French and U.S. arms by taking on a more American identity, some industry observers said on Monday.

The two companies have portrayed the deal that will create a $35 billion industry leader as a “merger of equals”. They have similar market capitalizations and the new group’s board will be equally split between representatives of Publicis and Omnicom.

Jul 26, 2013

Vivendi selling most of Activision stake for $8.2 billion

PARIS/BANGALORE (Reuters) – France’s Vivendi (VIV.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Friday that it planned to sell 85 percent of its stake in Activision Blizzard Inc (ATVI.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to the video games maker and its management for $8.2 billion, its second blockbuster deal in the past week.

Vivendi is selling the shares for $13.60 each, a 10 percent discount to Activision’s closing price on Thursday. After the deal, Vivendi will retain a stake of 83 million shares, or 12 percent of the video games maker best known for the Call of Duty series and online multi-player game World of Warcraft.

Jul 25, 2013

TF1 profit falls 17 pct, holds sales forecast

PARIS, July 25 (Reuters) – France’s biggest private
broadcaster TF1 on Thursday reported a milder than
forecast 17-percent slide in quarterly profit and reiterated a
full-year sales target already reduced to reflect the weak
economy.

Its shares surged 9 percent on relief that its 48.4 million
euro ($64.06 million) second-quarter profit – as well as a 5
percent drop in second quarter advertising revenue – were ahead
of expectations.

Jul 23, 2013

Vivendi kicks off wider revamp with Maroc sale deal

PARIS, July 23 (Reuters) – Vivendi SA’s
long-flagged deal to sell its controlling stake in Maroc Telecom
to Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat is just the first step in the French
conglomerate’s bet that it can remake itself as a media-focused
company.

Vivendi said on Tuesday it had entered into exclusive talks
to sell its majority stake in Maroc Telecom to Etisalat
for 4.2 billion euros ($5.54 billion) in cash.

Jul 22, 2013

Exclusive: Vivendi to announce Maroc Telecom sale to Etisalat – sources

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – French conglomerate Vivendi is set to announce the sale of its 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom to Dubai-based Etisalat in one of the biggest emerging market deals this year, three sources with direct knowledge of the situation said.

Vivendi is expected to sell its stake for around 4.2 billion euros ($5.5 billion), close to its current market value. The board met on Monday to discuss the deal and go over quarterly results.

Jul 22, 2013

Vivendi to announce Maroc Telecom sale to Etisalat -sources

LONDON/PARIS, July 22 (Reuters) – French conglomerate
Vivendi (VIV.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) is set to announce the sale of its 53 percent
stake in Maroc Telecom (IAM.CS: Quote, Profile, Research) to Dubai-based Etisalat
ETEL.AD in one of the biggest emerging market deals this
year, three sources with direct knowledge of the situation said.

Vivendi is expected to sell its stake for around 4.2 billion
euros ($5.5 billion), close to its current market value. The
board met on Monday to discuss the deal and go over quarterly
results.

Jul 17, 2013

Ex HSBC employee hopes for widening of Europe tax probe

PARIS (Reuters) – A former IT analyst from banking group HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) who provided prosecutors with data on thousands of accounts said in an interview he hoped a Franco-Spanish tax avoidance probe would widen to other countries.

Pursued since 2009 by Switzerland on charges of stealing data from his former employer, Herve Falciani told Reuters he hoped French authorities will team up with prosecutors in countries ranging from Greece to Germany.

Jul 10, 2013

France looks to insurers to fill lending gap left by banks

PARIS, July 10 (Reuters) – France has launched a
double-pronged effort to harness insurers’ deep pockets to boost
lending to underfunded small- and mid-sized companies (SMEs),
seeking to ease their longtime reliance on bank funding.

The initiatives echo efforts elsewhere in Europe to bolster
funding for SMEs, where a lack of capital is seen as a drag on
economic recovery. In Britain the government has tried various
initiatives including its flagship Funding for Lending
programme, with mixed results.

Jul 9, 2013

Morocco wants Maroc Telecom buyer to take local partner-sources

PARIS/LONDON, July 9 (Reuters) – Morocco wants Gulf telecom
operator Etisalat to take on a local partner as a
condition of backing its bid to buy Vivendi’s 53
percent stake in Maroc Telecom, said three sources
familiar with the matter.

The Moroccan state owns 30 percent of the kingdom’s biggest
mobile and fixed communications provider and so must approve
Vivendi’s choice of buyer.

Jul 1, 2013

French funeral operator OGF gets takeover bids: sources

PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) – Three private equity firms have submitted bids to acquire France’s leading funeral services firm OGF, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Lion Capital, TDR Capital and Pamplona Capital Management have all made it through to the second round of bidding for the funeral operator owned by buyout firm Astorg Partners. CVC has also been cited as a potential bidder on the deal, which is being managed by Goldman Sachs, bankers said.

    • About Christian

      "New York-based editor in charge of banks, exchanges, insurers, asset managers and hedge funds coverage as well as separate team that reports on mergers and acquisitions. Previously led aerospace and defense team, also in New York. Was initially hired by Reuters in Milan, where I covered banks and insurers. Before that I was at Bloomberg for 8 years, including a 3 year stint in Sao Paulo."
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