French media group Vivendi will explore a project to sell its subsidiary Editis, number two in publishing in France, to avoid competition problems caused by the merger with the Lagardère group, owner of French market leader Hachette, announced he on Thursday, July, on 28.
“Vivendi plans to conduct this deal mainly through the distribution of Editis shares to Vivendi shareholders and their simultaneous listing on the Euronext market in Paris. »
This project, which still has to be approved by the European Commission, aims to enable Vivendi to take real control of Lagardère and its nugget Hachette, the third largest publishing group in the world.
Vivendi is already the majority shareholder of Lagardère following the success of its public offering filed earlier this year and currently holds only 23% of the voting rights pending approval by the competition authorities to acquire the group. However, the prospect of a marriage between Hachette and Editis, the two leading French publishing houses, has been causing concern across the industry for months.
” Go forward “
If the project goes through, the Bolloré Group at the helm of Vivendi, in which it holds 28% of the shares, also plans to sell the shares received from the publisher to a new reference shareholder, Vivendi said.
Vivendi initially wanted to keep Editis, which it acquired for 900 million euros at the end of 2018, but now wants to sell it in order to give it up “To ensure the sustainability and integrity of Editis”which unites fifty-three houses in the fields of literature, education and reference works.
This sale would enable Vivendi “to advance his fusion project” with Lagardère, said the group’s CEO, Arnaud de Puyfontaine. At the end of the operation it will be “no more connections between the Vivendi group and the Editis group”he said.