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Vivendi looks to sell Editis

French media company Vivendi has said it will try to sell off Editis—France’s second-largest publisher—when its planned acquisition of Hachette Livre parent company Lagardère goes through, reports the Bookseller.

Previously, Vivendi had said the plan was to merge the two groups ‘to build a global leader in the media, content and communications sectors’. Other publishers, booksellers and authors have since protested the proposed merger.

According to the Bookseller, a sale of Editis ‘would avoid a probable drawn-out wrangle with the competition authorities at the European Commission in Brussels’.

Martine Prosper, general secretary of the CFDT book and publishing union, told the Bookseller: ‘It is clear that [Vivendi majority shareholder Vincent] Bolloré has realised a merger is not possible, which is what we have been saying all along.’

‘Editis has been passed from hand to hand several times in recent years,’ Prosper said. ‘It needs stability, and preferably a main shareholder that is a book professional. That means a European publisher, but which one?’

Vivendi acquired Editis for €840 million (A$1.2b) in 2019. Vivendi holds 57% of Lagardère and just under 23% of voting rights, pending approval of the merger.


Category: International news