In a partial contradiction from denials a day ago by Zain's CEO, Saad al-Barrak, France's Vivendi has formally confirmed that it is in talks with the company over an acquisition. In the statement, the firm said that an acquisition would enable Vivendi to capitalize on its successful experience of developing mobile telephony in Africa.
The company is talking to Zain about taking a majority stake in the African assets, but in the usual jargon of business warned that at this stage there is no certainty that the discussions currently in progress will lead to a successful outcome.
The statement concluded that "in any event, Vivendi will examine this investment according to its usual profitability criteria and will adhere strictly to its usual principles of financial discipline. In particular, Vivendi attaches the utmost importance to keeping its credit rating and its dividend at their current levels and will continue to work in the interests of its shareholders."