PARIS (Reuters) - Vincent Bollore, Vivendi’s (VIV.PA) largest shareholder, said the French telecom-and-media group is not considering further asset sales and is not looking for a new chief executive, according to an interview in Les Echos newspaper.
Bollore also came out in favour of Vivendi’s plan - now being studied - to split up its media businesses from its largest unit, French telecom operator SFR.
“I think the demerger is an attractive project and it has my total support,” Bollore told the newspaper, adding that he would remain a shareholder in the two companies after the split.
Bollore, whom Vivendi named vice-chairman of its board on Wednesday, also said the group was not searching for a new chief executive. The corporate raider and tycoon clashed with Vivendi’s powerful chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou over the CEO search in the past week, ending one candidate’s bid because he was not French and floating his own name for CEO before taking it back.
“The team will remain the same,” he said. “The split up of the company will create two structures and today we need to prepare two teams.”
Bollore also denied that he planned to merge advertising agency Havas EURC.PA into the new Vivendi media company, a scenario often-mooted by analysts and the press. Bollore owns 36.5 percent of Havas.
“There will be no integration of Havas <into the new Vivendi media>,” he said.
Reporting by Leila Abboud, Editing by Natalie Huet