CEO Arnaud De Puyfontaine said Vivendi had “not changed its mind at all” about its €3 billion-plus investment in Telecom Italia after the Italian incumbent announced a share conversion.
He added that “we are definitely a long-term investor in TI, and we see an opportunity to create a positive combination between the two companies”.
De Puyfontaine told a results call he is not worried about TI’s decision to convert its saving shares into ordinary ones, and the reason it was “absolutely convinced” it should increase its stake to 20 per cent was to protect itself from such moves.
TI’s board last week approved the share conversion, a move which threatens to dilute Vivendi’s shareholding to as little as 14 per cent.
The CEO added that Vivendi has not had “any interaction, in any shape or form” with Xavier Niel, who recently bought an 11 per cent stake in in the Italian incumbent.
Vivendi may also focus on mobile in the future when it comes to TV broadcaster Canal+, saying consumers want to access content on devices on the go, and Vivendi wants to keep up with this demand.
In the third quarter Vivendi’s group sales were up 4.5 percent at €2.52 billion, while adjusted net income was €172 million compared to €189 million for the same period in 2014, down 8.8 per cent.
It said in a statement that “in its ambition to build an international media and content production and distribution group, Vivendi anticipates that the next two years (2016 and 2017) will be a period of potentially heavy investments.”
Last week, Vivendi distanced itself from speculation that it is in talks with potential partners, including Orange, about mounting a bid to acquire Telecom Italia (TI).