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Vivendi ups tender offer for Canal+ channels unit

The Vivendi office is seen in Paris on Wednesday, May 17, 2006.Vivendi has raised the price of its public tender offer for SECP, the Canal+ Group unit that controls the Canal+ premium channel family in France, from €7.60 to €8 to “reinforce the attractiveness of its proposed public tender offer” to SECP’s shareholders.

Vivendi moved to take full control of the unit, in which it holds a 48.5% stake, in May, after it received a request from “a large number of SECP’s shareholders” to make an offer.

Canal+’s domestic premium service, comprising Canal+, Canal+ Cinéma, Canal+ Décalé, Canal+ Sport, Canal+ Family and Canal+ Séries. SECP also controls Canal+’s terrestrial broadcasting licence, and Vivendi’s ability to take control of the unit was dependent on a 2009 change in the law to permit a single operator to control a terrestrial broadcast channel.

SECP’s other shareholders, including banks have been reportedly keen to sell their holding in the operation to improve their liquidity. However, the acquisition will enable Vivendi to simplify its relations with Canal+ and give it greater control, in line with chairman Vincent Bolloré’s aim of improving the pay TV operator’s performance.