French media giant Vivendi has bought the French publisher Editis from Spanish owner Planeta in a deal that values the business at €900 million.
Editis employs around 2,400 people, publishing 4,000 titles a year through 50 different imprints, including Nathan, Robert Laffont, Julliard, Plon, Belfond, Presses de la Cité, Pocket, and Solar, and boasts a backlist of some 45,000 titles.
Editis joins Universal Music Group, Canal+ Group, ad agency Havas and and mobile games company Gameloft in the Vivendi stable, which once also included Houghton Mifflin. Last month Havas' U.K. chairman and CEO Chris Hirst addressed a breakfast meeting of senior British publishers, hosted in London by BookBrunch.
Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine also becomes chairman of Editis, with Pierre Conte as CEO. The deal raises the possibility that Vivendi, which already has English-language businesses, may go on to seek an English-language publisher to sit alongside Editis. In the early 2000s, Vivendi did in fact own a major U.S. publisher. It bought Houghton Mifflin in 2001 and sold it a little more than a year later after a disastrous run.
A version of the story originally ran in BookBrunch.