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EU to rule on Vivendi Lagardere takeover by end of November

EU antitrust regulators will decide by November 30 whether to greenlight French media giant Vivendi’s proposed takeover of rival media group Lagardere, according to a report by Reuters which cites a new European Commission filing.

In May, Vivendi, the owner of PayTV platform Canal+, increased its stake in Lagardere to 55% and placed an offer for the entire company. However there are concerns among rivals about the increased clout that the deal would give Vivendi.

The merger would bring together Canal+, conservative news channel CNEWS, Paris Match, weekly newspaper Journal du Dimanche and radio station Europe 1, along with publishing groups Hachette and Editis. Lagardere used to be a major player in the French TV market but sold interests including Gulli to M6 Group in 2019.

Vivendi is willing to spend up to €2bn to acquire all of Lagardere’s listed shares, though it said that it does not plan to withdraw the publisher from the stock market.

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