French media group Vivendi has agreed with commercial broadcaster TF1 to buy the latters 9.9% stake in pay-TV outfit Canal Plus France for Â744m.
Under the terms of the deal, TF1Âs 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. TF1Âs 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 M6Âs 5.1% stake in Canal Plus France. LagardÃ¨re 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 LagardÃ¨re could float its shares on the stock market.