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French media company Vivendi considers raising offer for Lagardere – Metro US

French media company Vivendi considers raising offer for Lagardere

The logo of Vivendi is seen in Paris
The logo of Vivendi is seen in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) -French media company Vivendi, in which billionaire Vincent Bollore has the biggest individual stake, is considering raising its cash offer for Paris Match magazine owner Lagardere, as Vivendi progresses towards a Lagardere takeover.

Vivendi said on Friday that it was considering offering an increased price of 25.50 euros per share, up from its current offer of 24.10 euros.

Lagardere shares were up 5.1% in late trading while Vivendi shares dipped 0.4%.

Last year, Vivendi said it would buy activist fund Amber Capital’s stake of around 18% stake in Lagardere for 24.10 euros per share, and then file a full takeover offer for Lagardere.

The acquisition would mean Vivendi, which already owns pay TV group Canal+ and right-leaning news channel CNEWS, will gain control over Lagardere’s flagship magazine Paris Match, weekly newspaper Journal du Dimanche and radio station Europe 1.

Bollore’s ambitions have ruffled feathers in President Emmanuel Macron’s inner circle, sources have said, with some fearing his empire building could result in airwaves dominated by right-wing views ahead of France’s April presidential election.

Lagardere had also attracted the attentions of luxury goods company LVMH’s billionaire boss Bernard Arnault, but Arnault has ceded ground to Bollore over Lagardere.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by David Goodman and Jason Neely)

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