Vivendi exceeds 20% in Lagardère and wants to be represented on the supervisory board

The media group controlled by businessman Vincent Bolloré becomes Lagardère SCA’s largest shareholder.

Vivendi has crossed the 20% threshold in the capital of the Lagardère publishing and distribution group, of which it becomes the largest shareholder, and “considering asking»Representation on the supervisory board, according to an opinion published on Wednesday by the Autorité des marchés financiers.

According to this document, the media group controlled by businessman Vincent Bolloré held on Tuesday 21.19% of the capital of Lagardère SCA and 16.01% of the voting rights, and “intends to continue purchasing subject to market conditions». «Vivendi SE plans to request his appointment or that of one or more people as a member of the supervisory board, “said the group, referring to the” uncertain nature of the changes announced on May 25 in the organization of operational control of Lagardère SCA.»

Control with 7% of the shares

The holding company of billionaire Bernard Arnault, majority shareholder of luxury group LVMH, announced on that date that it had taken “about a quarter»Of the capital of Arnaud Lagardère’s family holding company, Lagardère Capital & Management (LC&M), which owns its stake in the group that bears his name. This financial support, of around 80 million euros according to a source familiar with the matter, and the “concert action»Between Bernard Arnault and Arnaud Lagardère had surprised Vincent Bolloré, while Vivendi had taken a stake in Lagardère to support its managing partner against the British fund Amber Capital (18% of the capital) at the last general meeting on May 5.

The atypical status of the Lagardère group in limited partnership by shares allows Arnaud Lagardère (general partner) to retain control with only around 7% of the shares. But indebted and contested, Arnaud Lagardère had to fight and obtain the support of the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar (13% of the shares), Vivendi and the financier Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière (Fimalac holding) to frustrate Amber’s plan to replace almost all of the supervisory board, the only body that can oppose the manager.