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Vivendi to acquire Bolloré majority stake in Havas

Vincent Bolloré

Vincent Bolloré

Vivendi has made an offer to Group Bolloré, the investment outfit of its chairman Vincent Bolloré, to acquire the latter’s 60% stake advertising giant Havas to create “a world-class content, media and communication group”.

Vivendi is offering €9.15 a share for Havas, representing a premium of 8.8% over its share price on May 10.

The media giant said that the transaction would enable Havas to benefit from its skills in talent management, content creation and distribution. In return, Vivendi will gain access to Havas’s expertise in consumer science, data analytics and new creative formats.

It also said that Vivendi would give Havas access to financial resources for both its organic and external growth worldwide.

Vivendi said that its objective is to reach a binding agreement with Groupe Bolloré on the acquisition of its stake in Havas as soon as possible.

The deal values Havas at about €3.89 billion, giving Bolloré €2.4 billion for the sale of its stake.

Vincent Bolloré’s son Yannick will remain CEO of Havas and will retain his seat on the board of Vivnedi, which he joined recently. Bolloré Group holds a 20.6% stake in Vivendi.

Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine said he did not see any likelihood of regulatory action to block the deal, noting that the EC has accepted Bolloré’s position of control in both Vivendi and Havas.

Vivendi announced the move as it revealed solid first quarter results.  Despite a continued decline at Canal+, the company as a whole posted revenues of €2.663 billion, up 6.9%. Adjusted net income was €155 million, up 57.2%.