Vivendi Breaks Off Zain Talks

8:20 AM -- Only weeks after announcing it was in talks regarding the potential acquisition of Zain Group 's African operations, Vivendi has pulled out of the negotiations. (See Vivendi Wants Zain's African Assets.)

The French giant, which already owns extensive fixed and mobile operations in its domestic market, as well as a majority stake in Morocco's national operator, says it is "interrupting talks" with Zain.

In a short statement, Vivendi adds that it "has applied its usual criteria of profitability and financial discipline to this potential investment in emerging markets, in the best interests of its shareholders."

A report in Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas suggests that Zain rejected a $10.5 billion bid from Vivendi to buy a 65 percent stake in Zain Africa, according to this Bloomberg story.

Investors are clearly pleased by the move: Vivendi's share price is up by €0.72, more than 4 percent, to €18.18 on the Paris exchange today.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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