Lagardère in ‘ongoing’ talks with Vivendi over Canal+

French media company Lagardère has said that it is in “ongoing discussions with Vivendi” to reach an agreement about Canal+ France. 

The one-line statement follows French press reports at the end of last week claiming that Vivendi had reached an agreement to buy out Lagardère’s 20% stake in the pay TV operator.

The two companies have been locked in a legal battle over the fate of Canal+. In February Lagardère filed a lawsuit claiming that Vivendi was deliberately attempting to diminish the value of the pay TV operator to force Lagardère to abandon its plan to float its stake.

In May, Lagardère boss Arnaud Lagardère said he could be prepared to buy the 80% of Canal Plus France held by Vivendi if the latter “lacks optimism about the future” of the pay TV group.

Separately, in September Vivendi launching a study investigating whether to split its business in two – separating off telecoms group SFR from a new international media group that would be based in France and contain its international music, internet and pay-TV assets – including Canal+ Group and Universal Music.