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Vivendi takes Lagardère stake

Vivendi, owner of French pay TV operator Canal+, has taken a 10.6% stake in local media outfit Lagardère.

Vivendi’s purchase of the stake comes amid speculation over the future of Lagardère, with Amber Capital, which holds a 16% stake in the business, attempting to oust company head Arnaud Lagardère ahead of a board meeting on May 5.

Lagardère is the parent of Lagardère Studios, which comprises 25 prodcos and has been on the market for some time without finding a buyer.

A year ago, Lagardère sold its TV channels to RTL-owned M6 Group for €215m (US$233m), which left it with TV production and distribution businesses and its publishing and travel retail arms, both of which been badly hit by the coronavirus shutdown.

M6 took over kids’ channel Gulli along with Canal J, TiJi, Elle Girl TV, MCM, MCM Top, RFM TV and associated advertising sales activities.

Vivendi, meanwhile, recently sold a 10% stake in Universal Music Group for €30bn (US$32.5bn) to a group fronted by Chinese tech firm Tencent.

Vivendi said in a statement: “This acquisition is a long-term financial investment reflecting Vivendi’s confidence in the future prospects of the French group, which enjoys international leadership positions in its businesses and which, like many others, is experiencing difficult times at the moment.”

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