Vivendi to buy out TF1 stake in Canal Plus France

French media group Vivendi has agreed with commercial broadcaster TF1 to buy the latter’s 9.9% stake in pay-TV outfit Canal Plus France for €744m.

Under the terms of the deal, TF1’s stake will revert to Vivendi by the end of December, as a result of which Canal Plus Group (which is 100% controlled by Vivendi) will increase its stake in the French operation from 65% to 75%.

The deal, which was initially expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year, has already been budgeted for by Vivendi, according to the group. TF1’s option to sell the stake was written into the agreement that secured the merger of Canal Plus Group and TF1-backed pay-TV platform TPS in 2007.

Vivendi has made a comparable offer to acquire commercial broadcaster M6’s 5.1% stake in Canal Plus France. Lagardère Active, owner of the remaining stake not held by Vivendi, has an option to sell between mid-March and mid-April next year. There has been recent speculation that Lagardère could float its shares on the stock market.