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Apr 17, 2014

China, Europe recovery boosts Publicis first quarter sales

PARIS (Reuters) – Advertising agency Publicis, which is merging with larger rival Omnicom, achieved 3.3 percent revenue growth on a comparable basis in the first quarter, helped by strong digital sales and an uptick in China and Europe.

Publicis, the first major ad group to post results for the period, said revenue was 1.6 billion euros ($2.21 billion). The average estimate of analysts was 1.62 billion and organic growth of 3 percent, according to company-provided figures.

Apr 17, 2014

China, Europe recovery boosts Publicis Q1 sales

PARIS, April 17 (Reuters) – Advertising agency Publicis
, which is merging with larger rival Omnicom,
achieved 3.3 percent revenue growth on a comparable basis in the
first quarter, helped by strong digital sales and an uptick in
China and Europe.

Publicis, the first major ad group to post results for the
period, said revenue was 1.6 billion euros ($2.21 billion). The
average estimate of analysts was 1.62 billion and organic growth
of 3 percent, according to company-provided figures.

Apr 5, 2014

Numericable wins battle for Vivendi’s SFR

PARIS, April 5 (Reuters) – France’s Vivendi said it
had accepted cable company Numericable’s bid for its
telecom unit SFR, which would give Vivendi at least 13.5 billion
euros ($18.5 billion) in cash plus a 20-percent stake in the new
entity.

The plan, which will be presented to unions and regulators
for approval, effectively hands victory to Numericable’s
Franco-Israeli backer Patrick Drahi after a fierce month-long
bidding war against fellow billionaire Martin Bouygues, whose
family company owns France’s No. 3 mobile operator.

Apr 4, 2014

Bouygues sweetens SFR bid in attempt to foil Numericable

PARIS/LONDON, April 4 (Reuters) – France’s Bouygues
submitted a new offer for Vivendi’s SFR
telecom unit on Friday – of 15 billion euros ($20.6 billion) in
cash, plus shares – in an effort to get back into the running
hours before a decisive Vivendi board meeting.

Before the construction-to-media group’s latest gambit,
rival Numericable was best placed to win a bidding war
for France’s second-biggest telecom operator, said two sources
close to the situation.

Apr 4, 2014

Numericable seen as favourite ahead of Vivendi board meeting – sources

PARIS/LONDON, April 4 (Reuters) – French cable operator
Numericable is best placed to win a bidding war to buy
Vivendi’s telecom unit SFR ahead of a decisive board
meeting on Friday afternoon, said two people familiar with the
matter.

The 13 members of Vivendi’s board are expected to vote on
whether to finalise an accord to sell France’s number 2 telecom
operator to Numericable after three weeks of exclusive talks
over the roughly 15 billion euro ($20.57 billion) deal.

Apr 3, 2014

Vivendi rebuffs shareholder group ahead of board meeting on SFR

PARIS, April 3 (Reuters) – French media and telecoms group
Vivendi has rebuffed a new attempt by minority
shareholders to get access to documents relating to its sale of
French mobile operator SFR as the two rival bidders eye
potential last minute changes to their offers.

Colette Neuville, who heads a French association
representing the rights of minority shareholders, sent a bailiff
with the backing of a judge to Vivendi’s offices on Wednesday
because an earlier request via letter to Vivendi’s Chairman
Jean-Rene Fourtou for more transparency on the SFR deal was
rejected.

Apr 1, 2014

Bouygues extends SFR deadline offer, sets break-up fee

PARIS, April 1 (Reuters) – French conglomerate Bouygues
turned up the heat in its battle for control of
Vivendi’s telecom unit SFR on Tuesday by extending its
offer to April 25 from April 8 and presenting a 500 million euro
($689 million) break-up fee.

Bouygues is seeking to muscle its way back into the running
for SFR despite Vivendi being in exclusive talks with cable
group Numericable until Friday.

Mar 17, 2014

Numericable’s Drahi sees “national champion” via SFR deal

PARIS, March 17 (Reuters) – The billionaire founder of
Numericable believes he can create a French “national
champion” by combining fixed-line and mobile telecoms services
following his cable firm’s purchase of Vivendi’s SFR
unit.

Speaking for the first time since winning a takeover battle
for SFR against Bouygues Telecom, Patrick Drahi said
on Monday the deal was a sign of “convergence” between fixed and
mobile telecoms operators.

Mar 14, 2014

Outsider Patrick Drahi defies French establishment to win SFR

PARIS (Reuters) – When Franco-Israeli telecoms billionaire Patrick Drahi entered the race to acquire Vivendi’s SFR (VIV.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), his powerful rivals seemed to suddenly agree on a common goal: keeping him out.

Fellow tycoon Martin Bouygues, whose conglomerate has telecoms to construction holdings in France, mounted a late bid for SFR against Drahi’s Numericable (NUME.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and rallied strong connections in the government.

Mar 14, 2014

Vivendi picks Numericable for exclusive talks on SFR

PARIS (Reuters) – Vivendi (VIV.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will enter three weeks of exclusive talks with cable group Numericable (NUME.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in an effort to finalize a deal to sell its telecom unit SFR for 11.75 billion euros ($16.4 billion) in cash, plus a stake in the resulting business.

The decision is a blow to conglomerate Bouygues (BOUY.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which had also bid for SFR.