Vivendi acquires 60% stake in Havas for $2.5 bn

MUMBAI: Vivendi has acquired a 60% stake in Havas from Bolloré Group for an estimated $2.5 billion.

The execution of this agreement by Vivendi’s Management Board follows the receipt of positive opinions from the employee representative bodies of the companies of Vivendi, Havas and Bolloré, and the completion of the due diligence process.

The €9.25 per share price initially indicated in the letter of intent was confirmed. The reasonable premium over the last quoted share price is based on several criteria: the operational performance of the Havas Group compared to its peers in recent financial years, the historical level of the Havas share price, the mid-term perspectives despite the fact that, in the global advertising sector, the year 2017 will be marked, as announced by the Havas Group’s management, by uncertainties in organic growth and profitability.

In accordance with applicable regulations, Vivendi will launch a simplified tender offer on the remaining Havas shares. This offer is not aimed at delisting Havas shares.

Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine commented: “This acquisition marks a major milestone in our drive to build a global leader in content, media and communication. It gives our Group a unique positioning and a major advantage in an environment marked by the ever-increasing convergence between content, distribution and communication. Havas brings its expertise in consumer science, data analytics and new creative formats to the entire Vivendi group. Most importantly, our two companies have gotten to know one another well and our teams enjoy working together, essential keys to success in the creative and innovative industries, which rely on a wealth of talent.”

Havas Group CEO Yannick Bolloré said, “We look forward to joining forces with the Vivendi group. Vivendi’s ambitious strategy for accelerated development towards a global communications leader will enable us to develop even more quickly. Vivendi will provide us with, on one hand, new strategic and financial resources to enrich the expertise we offer to our clients and, on the other, broader opportunities for our talents. We thank the Vivendi teams for their trust and support.“

Completion of the transaction is subject to the approval of the competent competition authorities.