Today, French conglomerate Vivendi confirmed it is pushing ahead with its deal to purchase the 17.9% stake in Lagardère held by investor Amber Capital for about $720.6 million. Vivendi, which also owns book publisher Editis, already holds a 26.7% stake in Lagardère and the resulting transaction will give Vivendi 45.1% of its rival's shares.
Under French regulations, once a company's stake in another company exceeds the 30% level, it must make a tender offer for all remaining shares and Vivendi confirmed it will be making an offer to buy remaining shares at a price of €24.10 per share.
Earlier this year, analysts at J.P. Morgan Cazenove told Dow Jones they believe Vivendi is primarily interested in Lagardère's publishing business, "which would bring scale, synergies, and savings to Editis." Lagardere's publishing holdings include the Hachette Book Group.
The acquisition, should it go through, will make Vivendi the dominant book publisher in France.