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Vivendi Receives Anti-Trust Board Approval to Acquire Majority Stake in Havas

Variety logo Variety 7/3/2017 Elsa Keslassy
© Provided by Variety

Vivendi has obtained the approval of France’s anti-trust board to complete its acquisition of a 59.2% stake in Havas, the advertising and communication group, from Bolloré Group at a premium 9.25 euros ($10.52) per share.

Listed on the Paris stock market, Havas is believed to be the world’s sixth-biggest advertising and communication group and is currently under the leadership of chief executive Yannick Bolloré.

Yannick Bolloré is the son of Vincent Bolloré (pictured), the chairman and dominant shareholder of Vivendi, the parent company of Universal Music Group and Canal Plus Group. Father and son sit at the helm of Bolloré Group as president/CEO and vice chairman, respectively.

Vivendi said it would next launch a simplified tender offer on the remaining Havas shares and is expected to merge with Havas. Yannick Bolloré is expected to eventually take control of Vivendi.

Taking note of the increasing competition in France from Altice and Netflix, the anti-trust board also recently allowed Canal Plus Group to distribute a premium channel exclusively, as well as sign a deal with a second U.S. studio besides Disney Media Distribution to gain exclusive rights to premium film and TV content for its free- and pay-TV channels.

In addition, the company also obtained the anti-trust board’s permission to have Canal Plus series stream exclusively on its sister SVOD service Canalplay starting this month. On top of series, Canal Plus will be able to premiere up to five French films it partly financed on Canalplay. The window of exclusivity for these five movies will last seven days.

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