Lagardère exiting Canal+; but will Vivendi buy?
Thursday, 15 April 2010

Lagardère Group, which holds 20% of Canal+ France shares, will sell its stake as the shareholders pact allows it to do, both groups announced separately.

Owing to the terms of the pact, Lagardère can decide to bring its shares to the stock market or sell them to 80% stakeholder Vivendi, which has aleady acquired TF1’s and M6’s shares.

Lagardère’s stake is estimated at €1.4 billion. Vivendi bought TF1’s 9.9% for €744 million in November and M6’s 5.1% for €384 million in February. But those companies had put options on their stakes, whereas Lagardère can only ask Vivendi for first refusal.

While Vivendi would undoubtedly want the stake, the company is unlikely to pay such a high price for it under much different terms than it had with TF1 and M6’s stakes.

For Lagardère, this announcement coincides with the fight it has entered into with French-US financer Guy Wyser-Pratte over synergies in the group’s activities. Wyser-Pratte owns 0.53 % of the group and has said he intends to seek a place on the supervisory board.

(Source: Rapid TV News)