Vivendi selling telecom

PHONING IT IN: Three months after rejecting a Godzilla-sized offer for Universal Music by Japanese telecom Softbank, Vivendi appeared to signal its intentions to reshape itself as a smaller company focused on media businesses notably including UMG. The Wall Street Journal reports that the French company has entered talks to sell control of Africa-based Maroc Telecom to Emirates Telecommunications Corp. for $5.5 billion, potentially kicking off a series of deals that would pay down a mountain of debt and get rid of its telecommunications assets through sales or spinoffs. Upon learning that the parent company will probably not change hands, the UMPG security team vaped a huge collective sigh of relief. (7/23a)