Lagardere to shed 20% share in Canal +

By Robert Briel
April 15, 2010 10.03 UK

The French media group Lagardere wants to sell its 20 percent in Canal+ France, which is estimated to be worth around 1.4 billion euros. Vivendi SA, which owns the remaining 80%, has said it would like to buy.

Lagardere said that it informed Vivendi of its intention to sell the stake, as required under a 2007 shareholders’ agreement between the two. “According to its liquidity right for its entire 20 percent stake in Canal+ France, Lagardere has indicated to Vivendi that it wishes to initiate the procedure” for selling the stake, said the statement.

Lagardere could seek to sell the stake on the stock market, to Vivendi or another buyer. Vivendi earlier said it’s strategy is to buy up minority stakes to gain full control of the French pay TV operator. Earlier, it bought the stakes of TF1 and M6 in the operations.

Lagardere wants to create a better synergy in the activities following pressure pressure from activist shareholder Guy Wyser-Pratte, who has criticised the policies of Lagardere and wants to sit on the board of directors.