By Ben Flanagan and Reuters
Emirates International Investment Company owns just over 3% of the French media and telecoms group.
Abu Dhabi's Emirates International Investment Company (EIIC) owns just over 3% of French media and telecoms group Vivendi, its chief executive told French paper La Tribune in an interview.
"We met Vivendi directors a few months ago. We own just over 3 per cent of its capital. It's an investment of between 1 billion and 1.1 billion euros ($1.49 billion), for the long term, for at least a period of four to five years," EIIC Chief Executive Mehdi Dazi was quoted as saying.
Vivendi plans to appoint Dazi as supervisory board member at a shareholders' meeting on Thursday.
Sebastian Holdings, a fund controlled by Norwegian businessman Alexander Vik who campaigned for a split of Vivendi, has a voting stake of over 4.5 per cent.
"We informed the company that we hold over 4.5 per cent of the votes which we intend to use at the meeting," a spokesman for Vik said.
Sebastian will support the appointment of Dazi but the La Tribune newspaper said it will vote against an authorisation for a capital increase and against the shortening of a stake notification period to five days from 15.
Vivendi has interests in the music, TV, cinema and mobile sectors and its subsidiaries include the Universal Music Group and a 56% share of SFR, France's number two mobile telecommunications operator.
According to figures from the Vivendi website, the group's 2006 revenues totalled 20,044 million euros, with an EBITA of 4,370 million euros. It is present in 77 countries and has a workforce of 34,694 as at December 31 2006.
It's shares - listed in Paris - reacted positively to the news.
The move follows increasing speculation of international media acquisitions by UAE holding companies. Dubai's Istitmar is due to make an announcement within the next 10 days on whether it is to buy
a controlling stake in a $4 billion Western European media company