French media group Vivendi plans to increase its bid for Lagardère

The logo of French media giant Vivendi is seen in Paris, France, January 31, 2022. REUTERS/Violeta Santos Moura

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  • May increase the price to 25.50 euros from 24.10 euros
  • Lagardère shares appreciate

PARIS, Feb 18 (Reuters) – French media company Vivendi (VIV.PA), in which billionaire Vincent Bollore has the largest individual stake, is considering raising its cash offer for Paris Match magazine owner Lagardère ( LAGA.PA), as Vivendi moves toward a Lagardère buyout.

Vivendi said Friday it plans to offer a premium price of 25.50 euros per share, up from its current offer of 24.10 euros.

Lagardère shares rose 5.1% at the end of the session while Vivendi shares fell 0.4%.

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Last year, Vivendi announced it would buy activist fund Amber Capital’s roughly 18% stake in Lagardère for 24.10 euros per share and then file a full tender offer for Lagardère.

The acquisition would mean Vivendi, which already owns pay-TV group Canal+ and right-wing news channel CNEWS, would take control of Lagardère’s flagship magazine Paris Match, the weekly Journal du Dimanche and Europe 1 radio. .

Bolloré’s ambitions have ruffled President Emmanuel Macron’s inner circle, sources said, with some fearing his empire-building could result in waves dominated by right-wing views ahead of France’s April presidential election. Read more

Lagardère had also caught the eye of the billionaire boss of luxury company LVMH (LVMH.PA), Bernard Arnault, but Arnault ceded ground to Bolloré at the expense of Lagardère.

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Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; edited by David Goodman and Jason Neely

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Cathy W. Howerton