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Vivendi moves towards Lagardère acquisition offer

What’s New in the Lagardère Group

Vivendi has agreed to buy a 17.9% stake in activist investor Amber Capital’s French media and retail group Lagardère, paving the way for a full takeover offer if approved by regulators.

Vivendi is already 29% stake and Lagardère’s largest shareholder, with 45% trading with Amber, exceeding the threshold for compulsory offers to other parts of the company.

The announcement is the latest twist. 5 years fight Because of Lagardère’s rule, and that means CEO Arnaud Lagardère has no power to stop the sale of the group founded by his late father and incorporated into the powers from defense to the media.

The son and heirs have slimmed down the company. Its largest businesses are now publishers of Hachette books and retailers of transportation hubs such as Relay newspaper retailers.

Arnaud Lagardère has recently been in April Agreed to dissolve Characteristic so ciété en commandite A structure that has long guaranteed control of his ironclad warship over the group, even though he owned only a 7% stake.

But when Lagardère was converted to regular sOchente Anonymous, This made the company vulnerable to acquisitions in unprecedented ways. Arnaud Lagardère agreed to the change after acquiring an additional 7% stake, board seats, and a five-year contract as CEO.

Saga I started In 2016, Amber launched an aggressive activist campaign, challenging the group’s poor performance and weak leadership of Arnaud Lagardère. Amber failed several board changes until last year, just before winning a vote at a shareholders’ meeting.

Arnaud Lagardère turned to strong investors, including Vivendi, dominated by billionaire Vincent Bolloré, who invested and helped the family’s descendants in voting to protect himself.

“We are happy with the investment project Vivendi wants to carry out,” said the company named after Arnaud Lagardère. © AFP via Getty Images

Once amber resolution Did not pass However, at the May 2020 shareholders’ meeting, the detent did not last long. Vivendi continued to buy additional shares, which surprised the target CEO. He turned to Bernard Arnault, the founder of LVMH. relief By investing in Arnaud Lagardère’s private holding company and later by investing directly in Lagardère.

Correspondingly, Vivendi in August Surprise Alliance Amber has given the right to first refuse to buy shares in the Lagardère fund when it wants to sell.

Last week, Amber said he wanted to sell to Vivendi, and the two began negotiations.

Vivendi said In a statement on Wednesday Agreed to pay Amber € 24.10 per Lagardère share, or approximately € 610 million, subject to regulatory approval from the French and European Union.

Since Vivendi already owns Editis, a French book publisher that competes with Hachette, competition regulators may scrutinize the transaction. Therefore, you may need to sell your assets.

If for some reason Vivendi is unable to complete the purchase of Amber’s shares by December 15, 2022, you will need to find another purchaser of Amber’s shares at the same price.

Lagardale said In the statement “I’m happy with the investment project Vivendi wants to carry out,” and the board promised to consider the proposed public offering later.

When asked what happened to Arnaud Lagardère after the acquisition, a Vivendi spokesman said, “He is and will continue to be in full support of Vivendi.”

Vivendi moves towards Lagardère acquisition offer

Source link Vivendi moves towards Lagardère acquisition offer

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