Vivendi is a group focused on media, content creation and communications.
Vincent Bolloré, appointed Chairman of the Supervisory Board on June 24, 2014 (his son Yannick Bolloré succeeded him at this function on April 19, 2018), positioned Vivendi as an integrated industrial group with the clear determination to become a European champion of media and content with strong positions in France and Southern Europe and international ambitions.
In June 2012, Vivendi initiated a review of the Group’s scope of activity and undertook a strategic review of all its assets, concluded by a refocusing by the Group on its content and media operations.
It is within this framework that:
- Back in January 2012, Studiocanal acquired a majority stake in Tandem Communications, a European leader in the production and sale of international TV shows.
- In September 2012, Vivendi and Universal Music Group acquired EMI Recorded Music.
- Canal+ Group acquired the Direct 8 and Direct Star free-to-air channels in France from the Bolloré Group in exchange for Vivendi shares, a transaction that was also completed in September 2012. The channels were later renamed C8 and CStar.
- In November 2013, Vivendi acquired from the Lagardère group the 20% interest it did not yet own in Canal+ France, a transaction jointly announced by the two companies.
- In December 2013, Studiocanal acquired a majority interest in RED Production Company, the British television series producer.
At the same time, the Group disposed of some of its assets, notably in telecoms:
- In November 2013, Vivendi entered into a definitive agreement with Etisalat for the sale of its 53% ownership interest in Maroc Telecom, a transaction that closed in May 2014.
- In April 2014, Vivendi selected the Altice/Numericable offer for a combination with SFR; the transaction was completed on November 27, 2014. On February 27, 2015, the Supervisory Board decided to accept Numericable-SFR’s and Altice’s offer to purchase Vivendi’s 20% interest in the telecommunications operator – a transaction that closed on May 6, 2015.
- In September 2014, Vivendi entered into a definitive agreement with Telefonica for the sale of its Brazilian subsidiary GVT; the transaction was finalized on May 29, 2015. In addition, at the end of July 2015, the Group disposed of its entire interest in Telefonica Brasil (7.5% of the share capital) which it acquired as part of the GVT sale, and acquired a 0.95% stake in Telefonica.
- In October 2013, Vivendi completed the sale of over 85% of its interest in Activision Blizzard, thereby offering the Group greater financial flexibility. Then, on January 15, 2016, the Group disposed of its remaining interest (5.7%) in the video games company.
Since June 2014, Vivendi continued to develop its presence in media, content and communications:
- On September 29, 2015, Vivendi acquired a 30% interest in the share capital of Mars Films, a leader in cinema production and distribution in France.
- On February 23, 2016, Vivendi completed the acquisition of a 26.2% interest in Banijay Group, one of the world’s largest independent television production and distribution companies. It now has a 31.4% controlling interest in this company (as of January 1, 2018).
- Also in 2016, the Group, through Studiocanal, acquired interests in several Spanish and British production companies: 33% in Bambú Producciones, 20% in Urban Myth Films and 20% in SunnyMarchTV.
- As a result of its public tender offer launched on February 18, 2016, Vivendi holds 100% of the share capital of Gameloft since July 26, 2016.
- On December 14, 2017, Vivendi holds 100% of Havas’s share capital. The Group already acquired the 59.2% stake in Havas held by the Bolloré Group on July 3, 2017.
With the official creation of Vivendi Village at the end of 2014, Vivendi set up an entity that brings together small digital services businesses (including MyBestPro and Vivendi Ticketing) and companies dedicated to live entertainment and in scouting and nurturing talent (L’Olympia, Olympia Production, CanalOlympia, …).
To ensure the widest possible distribution of its content, Vivendi in parallel entered into a number of partnerships with telecom operators and digital streaming platforms. It also acquired, or acquired aninterest in, various companies.
- In connection with its sale of GVT, Vivendi received from Telefonica a little over 8% of Telecom Italia’s share capital and later became the Italian operator’s largest shareholder by acquiring additional shares on the market on June 24, 2015.
- Vivendi finalized the acquisition of 80% of the share capital of Dailymotion, one of the world’s largest aggregation and content distribution platforms. On July 26, 2017, Vivendi holds 100% of its capital.
- At the end of July 2015, Vivendi disposed of its remaining shares in Telefonica Brasil and acquired a 0.95% interest in Telefonica.
As part of the Canal+ transformation plan in France, Canal+ Group defined a coherent brand universe for its channels and, on November 15, 2016, launched its new offers. It also completely rethought its distribution strategy and entered into strategic partnerships with Orange and Free, as announced by the two French telecom operators on September 27, 2016 and October 5, 2016, respectively.