Vivendi headquarters in Paris: price jumps among companies
Photo: ERIC PIERMONT / AFP
The French media group Vivendi wants to take over its domestic competitor Lagardère.
The purchase, which still has to be approved by competition watchdogs, would create one of the largest media groups in Europe.
Vivendi has already secured more than 25 million shares in Lagardère's major shareholder Amber Capital, according to a press release.
Lagardère also owns the magazine “Paris Match” and the radio station “Europe 1”.
In fact, Vivendi is probably primarily interested in Lagardère's international publishing business, writes analyst Daniel Kerven from the major bank JPMorgan in a study.
This would mean "economies of scale, synergies and cost savings" for the Editis publishing group, which is part of Vivendi.
On the other hand, Vivendi could sell its retail activities in order to finance the acquisition.
Price jumps on the stock exchange
The price of the Lagardère share jumped on Thursday morning by more than 21 percent to 23.62 euros. For the Vivendi share, however, it went down by 1.5 percent. Vivendi wants to pay 24.10 euros per share for Amber's stake in Lagardère - that would be a total of 610 million euros. This would increase Vivendi's stake to 45 percent of Lagardère's share capital and 36 percent of the voting rights. Vivendi expects that the competition authorities approve the purchase subject to conditions, said a Vivendi spokesman.
If the authorities actually approve the deal with Amber, Vivendi's stake in Lagardère would end up being more than 30 percent.
Above this threshold, the group is obliged under French law to submit a takeover offer to the other Lagardère shareholders.
That should happen at the latest when the supervisors have approved the deal with Amber, said a spokesman.
rai / dpa