Vivendi buys 60% stake in Havas Group

Arnaud de Puyfontaine

Arnaud de Puyfontaine

Vivendi has agreed to buy the Bolloré Group’s majority stake in ad giant the Havas Group in a deal valued at some €2.3 billion.

Vivendi will pay €9.25 per share for Bolloré Group’s 60% stake in Havas, having agreed terms with Vivendi’s chairman Vincent Bolloré’s investment outfit and received “positive opinions” from Havas.

Commenting on the agreement, Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine said it marks a “major milestone” in the company’s drive to build a global leader in content, media and communication.

“It gives our group a unique positioning and a major advantage in an environment marked by the ever-increasing convergence between content, distribution and communication,” said Puyfontaine.

“Havas brings its expertise in consumer science, data analytics and new creative formats to the entire Vivendi group. Most importantly, our two companies have gotten to know one another well and our teams enjoy working together, essential keys to success in the creative and innovative industries, which rely on a wealth of talent.”

Havas Group CEO, Yannick Bolloré, said: “Vivendi’s ambitious strategy for accelerated development towards a global communications leader will enable us to develop even more quickly.”

“Vivendi will provide us with, on one hand, new strategic and financial resources to enrich the expertise we offer to our clients and, on the other, broader opportunities for our talents.”

The deal marks an increase on an earlier €9.15 per share offer for Havas that Vivendi tabled last month, which at the time represented a premium of 8.8% over Havas’ share price on May 10.

Completion of the deal is now subject to the approval of competition authorities.