Lagardère sells Canal+ stake to Vivendi for €1 billion

Canal PlusFrench media company Lagardère Group has sold its 20% stake in Canal+ to Vivendi for €1.020 billion in cash. 

Lagardère and Vivendi said in a joint statement that the agreement “puts an end to all disputes between the two groups.”

They added that Lagardère and Canal+ Groups will continue to cooperate on program production and the publishing and distribution of television channels.

The deal comes just one day after Lagardère said it was still locked in discussions with Vivendi, after French press reports last week claimed a deal had been reached.

The two companies had previously 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.

Pay TV operator Canal+ Group is a market leader in the French market and also operates in French-speaking Africa, Poland and Vietnam. Its StudioCanal subsidiary is works across production, acquisition, distribution and international film sales.

In September Vivendi began to assess whether to split its business in two – proposing that it could separate 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.