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Thursday, 19 September, 2002, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
Two-way race for BT's Cegetel stake
cegetel logo
BT has said media giant Vivendi and mobile operator Vodafone have emerged as possible buyers of its 26% stake in French telecoms group Cegetel.

Competition between Vodafone and Videndi could bid up the final sale price for BT's French asset.

Pierre Danon, head of BT Retail, on Friday confirmed that his company is in talks with both would-be buyers.

"It looks better now we have two companies that have declared interest," he said.

Positive price trend

"We don't want to disclose our expectations, but certainly it is trending in a positive direction."

Cash-strapped Vivendi is thought likely to try to retain its telecoms interests as part of a restructuring plan aimed at stemming hefty losses and paying down its debts.

The firm wants to increase its current 44% stake in Cegetel, which generates more cash than any of its other businesses.

Vodafone, which currently owns 15% of Cegetel, is eager to gain control over the French telecoms firm's mobile subsidiary SFR.

Cegetel, with 3 million subscribers and a further 14 million SFR mobile customers, is France's second biggest telecoms group.

See also:

19 Sep 02 | Business
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