Vivendi rules out Lagardère bid

The Vivendi office is seen in Paris on Wednesday, May 17, 2006.Vivendi has ruled out a bid for Lagardère despite earlier reports that it had placed a bid worth €3.3 billion for the company, according to Reuters.

According to the news agency, which also reported the earlier claim that Vivendi was bidding for Lagardère, Vivendi spokesman Simon Gilham denied that the media giant had made an offer and said it would not do so.

A deal with Lagardère would have given Vivendi book publishing outfit Hachette, radio and TV stations and magazines. It would also have given it a travel retail arm and sports marketing activities, which are seen as a poorer fit for its media strategy.

Lagardère chief Arnaud Lagardère would have to give his consent to any takeover as his company has built-in mechanisms to protect itself against hostile takeovers.

The latest speculation on Vivendi’s intentions come after management board president Arnaud de Puyfontaine denied that the group was interested in acquiring pay TV giant Sky in an interview with the Financial Times.