DirecTV Pulls Out of Bidding for Vivendi’s GVT Division

DirecTV has pulled out of bidding for Vivendi SA’s Brazilian phone and Internet unit, GVT, forgoing an option to add more services in South America.

DirecTV has withdrawn from the auction process, said Darris Gringeri, a spokesman for the U.S. satellite-TV carrier, in an interview. The largest U.S. satellite-TV provider submitted a preliminary bid for GVT in November, according to people familiar with the matter.

DirecTV Chief Executive Officer Michael White said in January at an investor conference that GVT was a “nice-to-have, not a must-have.” GVT would have added a phone and Internet component to DirecTV’s Latin American pay-TV service to provide a bundled service for Brazilian customers.

“I’ve got to become convinced that there are sufficient, tangible, real synergies, not foo-foo revenue synergies, to more than offset the premium one would have to pay,” White said at the conference. “That’s a pretty high bar.”

DirecTV, based in El Segundo, California, had been competing with a group of private-equity firms to bid for GVT, people familiar with the matter said in January. Jean-Louis Erneux, a spokesman for Paris-based Vivendi, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment today after normal business hours.