The French media and publishing giant Vivendi announced on Tuesday January 30 the validation by its supervisory board of a proposed split into four entities: Canal, Havas, a company bringing together publishing and distribution (Lagardère and Prisma Media) as well as than an investment company.

“The management board today proposed to the supervisory board – which the latter accepted – to structure this split around four entities,” said the group which took control of Lagardère at the end of November in a press release.

This split project was announced in mid-December and then concerned three entities each to be listed on the stock exchange: Canal, Havas and an investment company which would hold “listed and unlisted financial interests in the sectors of culture, media and entertainment”.

What’s new on Tuesday is therefore the project to create “a company bringing together publishing and distribution assets”, which “would bring together Vivendi’s majority stake in Lagardère and that of 100% in Prisma Media”, and ” would promote collaborations between the different sectors of activity linked to publishing in its broadest sense,” the group said.

A long-term project

This long-term demerger project “must demonstrate its added value for all stakeholders and include an analysis of the tax consequences of the various planned operations,” explains Vivendi. A new progress report on the project study will be presented at a meeting of the supervisory board on March 7, the date on which the group publishes its annual results.

Among the other “important steps” to come, Vivendi cites “consulting the staff representative bodies of the entities concerned”, “obtaining the necessary regulatory authorizations, the required approvals from bondholders and other lenders of the group” and the when the time comes “the consent of Vivendi’s shareholders”.

At the end of November, the takeover of the Lagardère house by the Bolloré family finally reached its conclusion, after more than three and a half years of adventures. With this mega-acquisition, Vivendi is changing size and going from 38,000 to around 66,000 employees. Its turnover would increase, on a basis comparable to that of 2022, by 72% to 16.5 billion euros, according to the group.