Media giant Vivendi set to take control of Havas

Vivendi has submitted an offer to Group Bolloré, to purchase a majority stake in Havas.

The owner of French film and television studio and distributor, Canal, and Universal Music, Vivendi is expected to merge the two companies should the deal go through.

Vincent Bollore’s Group Bolloré currently has an approximate 60% stake in Havas and also owns a 20.4% stake in Vivendi.

In January, after months of speculation, Havas CEO, Yannick Bolloré, told Mumbrella’s Dean Carroll: “There have been a lot of rumours, but I don’t want to comment on rumours.

“Both the companies are listed so I’m not allowed to disclose anything. But I can tell you that today no discussions are happening between the two groups. As the Vivendi CEO said ‘time will tell’.”

According to a statement from Vivendi, the transaction will help the content and media group “accelerate its building of a leading world-class content, media and communications group” and give them a unique positioning in market.

It adds Havas will be able to “leverage” Vivendi’s skills across talent management, content creation and distribution.

Havas will also be given access to financial resources for its organic and external growth globally, should the deal go through.

The closing of the transaction will be subject to the completion of satisfactory due diligence, the execution of a share purchase agreement, consultation with the employee representative bodies, and the approval of the relevant competition authorities.

Should it be completed, Vivendi said it will launch a public tender offer for the remaining Havas shares at the same price, but is not seeking to delist Havas shares.

James Wright, group chief operating officer of Havas Creative group said of the proposed offer: “It’s been on the cards for a while and collaborating with Vivendi is something we’ve done for some time.

“It would put us in a unique position to benefit from the rapid convergence we are seeing between data, content and communication to further build market-leading innovative and effective client solutions. ”

Havas Creative’s current clients include Defence Force Recruiting, Moet Hennessy and SalesPreso. Havas Media’s clients include Kia and Emirates.

Maria Garrido, global chief insights and analytics officer for Havas Media, will be speaking at Mumbrella360 next month on the science of creating content that matters. More information is available via this link.


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