Vivendi is counting on Lagardère to strengthen itself

What will remain of Vivendi when it floats its musical subsidiary Universal Music Group (UMG) on the stock market on September 21? By saying almost goodbye to UMG (it only retains 10%), Vivendi is shedding its finest asset: music until then represented 65% of its market capitalization and 45% of its turnover. “Without UMG, Vivendi will have a very different history, it will be a holding company without much interest”, recently warned AlphaValue analysts.

The main winner of this transaction is the Bolloré group, Vincent Bolloré’s family holding company, also present in Africa, and in electric batteries, which will directly hold 18% of UMG’s capital (i.e. some 5.9 billion euros). ). Until then, Vincent Bolloré and his family had benefited from the flagship of music as the first shareholder of Vivendi. After September 21, they will have the option to sell this stake. “It is a quasi-liquidity”, we explain at AlphaValue.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Vivendi introduces its musical subsidiary on the stock market

Beside, Vivendi, now with three assets without synergy between them, could look bad. French champion of pay television, the Canal + group becomes the first source of income for the French conglomerate with an expected turnover of 5.7 billion euros in 2021 and a result of 478 million euros (according to the Barclays bank ). Problem, he has to fight daily against Netflix and other Disney +, while in sports he has had its ups and downs in recent years. If he regained the Champions League, which he has just started broadcasting again, he is still at war with French football in Ligue 1.

“Not very exciting”

In publishing, Editis is a Franco-French actor. Finally, the Havas advertising agency is only at 6e place globally with 2.3 billion euros in turnover and must scrape hard against Google and Facebook. “The new Vivendi will weigh 20 billion euros, including a third for Canal +, Havas and Editis. The rest is made up of the 10% of UMG and minority stakes in Telecom Italia, Mediaset, Lagardère… It is not very exciting ”, we explained at Alphavalue in recent days.

This is why the surprise takeover bid for Lagardère, opportunely announced by Vivendi on September 15, writes a brighter future for the French group. “While some investors could again reproach Vivendi for dispersing, there are clearly synergies” between assets, says Barclays bank in a note. The new Vivendi, which would merge Hachette, the third largest publisher in the world owned by Lagardère, and Editis, which is on its heels in France, would strengthen significantly.

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