VIV.PA - Vivendi SA

Paris - Paris Delayed Price. Currency in EUR
25.06
-0.08 (-0.32%)
At close: 5:38PM CEST
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close25.14
Open25.08
Bid0.00 x 0
Ask0.00 x 0
Day's Range24.96 - 25.18
52 Week Range20.80 - 26.69
Volume2,172,373
Avg. Volume3,214,560
Market Cap30.335B
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.82
PE Ratio (TTM)65.95
EPS (TTM)0.38
Earnings DateFeb 13, 2019 - Feb 18, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield0.50 (1.99%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-04-16
1y Target Est24.84
  • Barrons.com

    Vivendi’s Universal Music Is Hitting All the Right Notes, Lifting Shares in Investor Bolloré

    French conglomerate Bolloré’s stock jumped on Friday after record results at Universal Music and strong earnings in its logistics businesses.

  • Telecom Italia’s Conti Plans to Resign, Easing Investors’ Feud
    Bloomberg

    Telecom Italia’s Conti Plans to Resign, Easing Investors’ Feud

    (Bloomberg) -- Telecom Italia SpA Chairman Fulvio Conti is planning to resign in a move that signals the battle for influence between two of the phone carrier’s largest investors may be nearing an end, according to people familiar with the matter.Fulvio Conti, 71, was appointed as chairman last year in a list proposed by Elliott Management Corp. as part of a board reshuffle won by the U.S. activist investor against the French media-conglomerate Vivendi SA. Conti’s resignation hasn’t been finalized and is expected to be discussed at a Sept. 26 board meeting, the people said.Telecom Italia representatives weren’t immediately available for comment.Telecom Italia shareholders Vivendi and Elliott have been waging a battle for influence over the heavily indebted phone company since the fund run by Paul Singer bought a stake in Italy’s biggest phone company in 2018.In March, Vivendi abandoned an attempt to wrest control of Telecom Italia from allies of Elliott, signaling an end to a boardroom battle that delayed an overhaul of the phone company.Amos Genish, a Vivendi ally, was ousted as CEO last year as part of the clash over company strategy. He was replaced by Luigi Gubitosi, who’s trimming costs to help restructure the crisis-ridden company.The two sides have disagreed over how to restore the fortunes of the Italian carrier, which faces new competitive threats and is laboring under heavy debts.La Repubblica reported earlier that Conti could step down at the company’s post-summer board meeting and that a replacement hasn’t been identified yet.To contact the reporters on this story: Daniele Lepido in Milan at dlepido1@bloomberg.net;Angelina Rascouet in Paris at arascouet1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, Dan Liefgreen, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Moody's

    Vivendi SA -- Moody's announces completion of a periodic review of ratings of Vivendi SA

    Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has completed a periodic review of the ratings of Vivendi SA and other ratings that are associated with the same analytical unit. The review was conducted through a portfolio review in which Moody's reassessed the appropriateness of the ratings in the context of the relevant principal methodology(ies), recent developments, and a comparison of the financial and operating profile to similarly rated peers. This publication does not announce a credit rating action and is not an indication of whether or not a credit rating action is likely in the near future.

  • These Billionaires Need To Negotiate a Media Deal
    Bloomberg

    These Billionaires Need To Negotiate a Media Deal

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Vincent Bollore is developing an unfortunate habit of losing. The French billionaire who controls Vivendi SA emerged bruised from the latest round of his battle with former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Bollore has been trying to block the merger of Berlusconi’s Mediaset SpA with its Spanish subsidiary. Vivendi is the second-biggest investor in Mediaset but Bollore has so far been outmaneuvered. The Frenchman’s best chance of redemption lies in the courts. If he doesn’t want to imperil the deal, Berlusconi should do more to cozy up to his French adversary.The Mediaset merger will create a new Amsterdam-domiciled holding company called Media for Europe which will concentrate even more votes with the Berlusconi family, at the expense of Vivendi – that’s why Bollore wants to block the deal.The French media conglomerate owns 29% of Mediaset. However, it is currently only allowed to exercise 9.6% of the voting rights, after the Italian regulator asserted that Vivendi’s concurrent stake in Telecom Italia SpA breached rules on the concentration of media and telecoms ownership.Mediaset shareholders voted on Wednesday to approve the Spanish merger, much to Vivendi’s chagrin. Bollore now has two paths to try to block the deal. Firstly, he could exercise Vivendi’s withdrawal rights, whereby Mediaset has to pay a set fee for the French firm’s stake.That approach shouldn’t be an appealing one for Bollore. Vivendi would have to book a loss on the purchase price since it would receive 942 million euros ($1 billion) for the stake under the terms of the withdrawal, less than the roughly 1.1 billion euros it paid for it. It would also be less than the holding’s current 962-million-euro market value. What’s more, it may not even have the desired effect of blowing up the deal: Mediaset’s net debt is currently less than its forward 12-month Ebitda, well below the 1.7 times Ebitda average of its peers. That leaves plenty of headroom to fund the share purchase on the debt markets.The second avenue is the legal one. The chances there look more promising. Vivendi is seeking the ability to exercise its full voting rights in a case that an Italian court has referred to the European Court of Justice. Should the court rule in Vivendi’s favor, then it would likely have the votes to block the deal. Reuters reported in July that early European Commission legal advice suggests that restricting the voting rights contradicts laws on free movement of capital. Vivendi reiterated on Wednesday it will pursue all legal channels.The ECJ is unlikely to rule before next year, according to Reuters. Yet Mediaset has said it expects the merger to close by the end of this year. If Vivendi won the court case, it could mean that the merger would have to be unraveled, likely after the deal completes.  It would all get very messy.It’s therefore in Berlusconi’s interest to get Bollore and his lieutenants back to the negotiating table. And regardless of the court ruling, does Berlusconi really want his second-biggest shareholder to be sniping at his strategy for the foreseeable future? There may yet be a way of keeping everybody happy.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at awebb25@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Baker at stebaker@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Mediaset gets approval for pan-European plan, Vivendi to fight back
    Reuters

    Mediaset gets approval for pan-European plan, Vivendi to fight back

    Shareholders in Italian broadcaster Mediaset on Wednesday backed a plan to create a pan-European media group under a new Dutch holding, fending off opposition from its second biggest shareholder Vivendi. The vote is the latest blow for the French conglomerate led by media tycoon Vincent Bollore, which opposes the plan saying the new governance structure strengthens the hold of Mediaset's biggest shareholder, the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Under the plan, both Mediaset and its Spanish unit would be merged into a Dutch company dubbed MediaForEurope (MFE).

  • Bloomberg

    Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset Approves Merger in Blow to Vincent Bollore

    (Bloomberg) -- Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset SpA won shareholder backing for an initial move to create a pan-European broadcasting alliance and defeat efforts by its second-largest investor, Vincent Bollore’s Vivendi SA, to derail the plan.About 63% of investors attended an extraordinary general meeting convened Wednesday in Milan to vote on a proposal to combine Mediaset’s Spanish and Italian businesses into a Dutch holding company known as Media for Europe. Around 78% of them approved the deal. The Berlusconi family’s Fininvest holds 46% of voting rights.The victory marks a new chapter in a long-running conflict between the two billionaires. Bollore now must decide whether to tender Vivendi shares to the Dutch entity or sell out of the company at a loss -- and see if he can salvage his ambition to create a media empire in southern Europe.Either way, the Berlusconi family has taken an important first step toward creating a continental defense against the likes of Netflix Inc. It will now have to entice other national broadcasters to invest in the new entity.Its calls so far to join the alliance have been met with a tepid response, and the billionaires’ squabbling reflects a broader lack of coordination among national TV companies. Europe is now dotted with a patchwork of competing streaming platforms, each designed to stem an outflow of viewers to the U.S. firms.Second DefeatBollore is now facing a second loss this year, after stepping away from a battle to control Telecom Italia SpA. If he decides to remain a shareholder, Vivendi’s opposition to a cornerstone of Mediaset’s future strategy would prolong the damaging feud.Vivendi views the MFE strategy as a Berlusconi family effort to cement control over the company. The French company holds around 29% of Mediaset but only 10% of the voting rights. The rest are held in an independent trust.The Mediaset board on Wednesday morning said in a statement issued before the meeting it would not allow Vivendi to exercise votes on the part of its stake held in an independent trust. That made it almost impossible for Vivendi to prevail. The French company then issued its own statement, claiming the EGM was unlawful and vowing to challenge the new corporate structure under national and European laws.The Dutch merger will “result in a total and immediate annihilation of minority shareholder rights, without the payment of any premium to them,” Vivendi said. “Through its repeated unlawful decisions, Mediaset has created a detrimental situation of severe legal uncertainty for the company.”Investors representing 3.72% of Mediaset capital joined Vivendi to vote against the plan, equal to 42.3 million votes. Some 4.94% sided with Fininvest and voted in favor of the merger, equal to 56.2 million votes.Mediaset shares rose 1.3% from Tuesday, and traded at 2.80 euros ($3.09) after the vote. They had been trading above the alternative cash buyout price of 2.77 euros offered to shareholders who don’t want the Dutch stock.The size of Vivendi’s holding means that, were it to exercise this withdrawal right, the merger attempt could collapse. Mediaset Chief Executive Officer Pier Silvio Berlusconi told reporters Wednesday he was convinced Vivendi would retain its holding.(Adds Vivendi comment in ninth paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Daniele Lepido in Milan at dlepido1@bloomberg.net;Angelina Rascouet in Paris at arascouet1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Thomas Pfeiffer at tpfeiffer3@bloomberg.net, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 3-Mediaset gets approval for pan-European plan, Vivendi to fight back

    Shareholders in Italian broadcaster Mediaset on Wednesday backed a plan to create a pan-European media group under a new Dutch holding, fending off opposition from its second biggest shareholder Vivendi. The vote is the latest blow for the French conglomerate led by media tycoon Vincent Bollore, which opposes the plan saying the new governance structure strengthens the hold of Mediaset's biggest shareholder, the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Under the plan, both Mediaset and its Spanish unit would be merged into a Dutch company dubbed MediaForEurope (MFE).

  • Financial Times

    Berlusconi family’s European TV project survives Vivendi clash

    Italy’s Berlusconi family has won shareholder approval to create a pan-European broadcasting project spearheaded by its television company Mediaset, seeing off opposition from Vivendi, the French conglomerate owned by billionaire Vincent Bolloré. Mediaset investors holding 78 per cent of shares present at Wednesday’s Milan meeting voted in favour of the plan to create a group the Berlusconi family sees as a means to confront the threat from US streaming groups such as Netflix.

  • Financial Times

    Berlusconi and Bolloré set for latest media showdown

    Mediaset and Vivendi are set for the latest showdown in a two-year stand-off that has pitted their billionaire owners, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and French industrialist Vincent Bolloré, against each other. Shareholders of Mediaset, Italy’s leading private broadcaster in which the Berlusconi family’s Fininvest holding company has a 45 per cent stake, will vote on Wednesday on a plan to create a pan-European media group to compete with the likes of Netflix.

  • Mediaset's pan-European plan set to survive Vivendi opposition
    Reuters

    Mediaset's pan-European plan set to survive Vivendi opposition

    Italian broadcaster Mediaset's plan to reorganize its businesses as part of a pan-European growth strategy is set to be approved by shareholders on Wednesday, despite opposition from the group's second biggest investor, Vivendi . At Wednesday's meeting, shareholders will be asked to approve merging Mediaset with its Spanish unit Mediaset Espana and putting both groups under a newly created Dutch holding, called MediaforEurope (MFE). Mediaset, controlled by the family of Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, aims to use the new entity as a platform to develop continental alliances with other broadcasters and tackle competition from video-streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video .

  • Bloomberg

    Italy Court Gives Vivendi a Window to Challenge Mediaset Merger

    (Bloomberg) -- Vivendi SA got an opportunity to challenge a merger of Mediaset SpA’s Italian and Spanish businesses after a Milan court allowed it to vote on the plan.Vivendi, Mediaset’s second-biggest shareholder, opposes the project to combine the businesses into a Dutch holding company known as Media for Europe, and Mediaset’s board had sought to exclude Vivendi from the vote at an investor meeting on Wednesday.Mediaset’s controlling Berlusconi family sees the Dutch move as a first step toward a wider alliance of European broadcasters that would help it face up to the growing challenge from streaming giant Netflix Inc. Vivendi sees it as an attempt by the Berlusconis to cement their control over Mediaset and has vowed to vote against the move.“The group came to this decision after having assessed the rights, or lack thereof, that minority shareholders, Vivendi in particular, would have under the proposed MFE bylaws,” Vivendi said in a statement on Saturday in response to the court ruling.Mediaset also welcomed the ruling, however, pointing out that the court won’t allow Vivendi to vote using the part of its stake that’s held in an independent trust.Mediaset shares were up 1.1% in early Monday trading, while Vivendi fell 0.2%.Most of Vivendi’s 28.8% holding sits in the trust and the remaining stock that it controls directly equates to only 9.99% of the voting rights. That’s likely to leave Vivendi short of the votes it needs to overturn the resolution, even if it manages to convince other minority shareholders to join the revolt.A Vivendi spokesman said the company will lodge a complaint with the court if Mediaset prevents the votes held by the trust being exercised.“Mediaset is attempting to impede and spoil basic shareholder rights in order to illegally seize control,” the spokesman said.If the resolution passes, Vivendi may have another opportunity to disrupt the merger by refusing to tender its shares to the Dutch entity and selling out of Mediaset. That would breach an upper limit on capital withdrawals that was set as a financial condition of the merger.However, this option would be costly for Vivendi as Mediaset shares have been trading above the alternative cash buyout price of 2.77 euros ($3.04) offered to shareholders who don’t want the Dutch stock.\--With assistance from Tommaso Ebhardt and John Follain.To contact the reporters on this story: Angelina Rascouet in Paris at arascouet1@bloomberg.net;Daniele Lepido in Milan at dlepido1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Thomas Pfeiffer at tpfeiffer3@bloomberg.net, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Fight Erupts Between Bollore's Vivendi and Mediaset Over Merger

    (Bloomberg) -- Vivendi SA is challenging Italy’s Mediaset SpA ahead of a crucial shareholders’ meeting that could make or break a European industrial project spearheaded by the Berlusconi-controlled media company.The French conglomerate controlled by billionaire Vincent Bollore said it intends to vote against the Italian TV company’s proposal to merge with its Spanish affiliate, confirming a Bloomberg News report from last week. Under Mediaset’s plan, the combined entity would be housed in a Dutch-registered holding company called Media for Europe NV.Vivendi plans to oppose the merger after assessing “the rights, or lack of them, that minority shareholders and particularly Vivendi would have under the proposed” bylaws of the expanded entity, the Paris-based company said in a statement on Monday.Vivendi is Mediaset’s second-biggest investor with a stake of around 29%, but most of its shares sit in an independent trust. That leaves the company able to vote using only the remaining stock that it controls directly, which equates to 9.99% of the voting rights. The French company filed a request with a Milan court to preserve its right to participate in the Sept. 4 shareholder meeting.Shares of both companies were little changed in European trading on Monday.At next week’s gathering, investors will decide on the plan to create Media for Europe. Mediaset’s controlling shareholder, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s family, wants other national broadcasters to invest in the new entity, which would collaborate on data platforms and advertising in response to the growing threat from Netflix Inc.But the plan is overshadowed by a long-simmering conflict between the Berlusconis and Vivendi, which sees the Dutch holding as a move by the family to cement its control over Mediaset, people familiar with the matter have said.Today’s announcement follows a boardroom battle that saw Vivendi face off against U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. over the past year for control of Telecom Italia SpA. That conflict has recently abated, but shares in the Italian carrier have lost a quarter of their value over the period.It’s unclear whether Vivendi can block Mediaset’s merger plans, which require a two-thirds majority to pass. If it loses the vote, Vivendi will need to decide whether to tender its shares to the Dutch entity or sell out of Mediaset.Even if the resolution does pass and Vivendi decides to remain a shareholder, its opposition to a cornerstone of Mediaset’s future strategy may prolong the damaging feud.To contact the reporters on this story: Angelina Rascouet in Paris at arascouet1@bloomberg.net;Tommaso Ebhardt in Milan at tebhardt@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, Frank ConnellyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Hasbro's $4 Billion Peppa Pig Offer Looks a Little Skinny
    Bloomberg

    Hasbro's $4 Billion Peppa Pig Offer Looks a Little Skinny

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- At first glance, Entertainment One Ltd. and Hasbro Inc. make for ideal bedfellows. The former makes kids TV hit Peppa Pig, the latter is the world’s biggest toymaker. Merge one with the other and you get a combined video and merchandising giant.That’s why there’s sound strategic rationale for Hasbro’s planned 3.3 billion-pound ($4 billion) acquisition of the Toronto-based studio. It gets its trotters on some valuable kids’ franchises that it can turn into more toys, and it can use eOne’s TV and film production chops to exploit its own catalog of games, which span from Monopoly to Buckaroo! to Jenga.Hasbro has a decent if not stellar track record of turning its game franchises into films. The Transformers and G.I. Joe movies have done well at the box office, though no one would accuse them of being critical successes.That’s where reservations about the eOne deal come in. While it might be known as the firm behind Peppa Pig, the cartoon represents just 10% of its total revenue. The company’s family and brands business is expanding quickly, but its film and television division, which has made films such as Green Book and TV shows including The Walking Dead, contributes more sales and profit. It has something that Hasbro lacks: prestige.Darren Throop, the eOne chief executive, prides himself on the quality of the film and TV productions. It’s easy to see how eOne stalwarts might find the prospect of churning out spinoffs from Hasbro’s board games and toys hard to stomach. Sure, the deal logic holds up on paper: 130 million pounds of anticipated synergies by 2022 could lead to returns from the deal nearing 8% based on analyst earnings forecasts, just about covering the cost of capital. And that's before any upside from selling more toys or making more films.But are these firms as good a cultural fit as they insist? That might be the biggest hurdle to realizing the deal’s potential. That’s assuming it even completes. Right now, that’s in doubt. The stock traded as high as 5.90 pounds on Friday, above Hasbro’s 5.60 pounds-per-share bid, suggesting investors anticipate either an activist pushing the purchase price higher, or a counterbidder sticking their snout in. Rivals might include the Walt Disney Co., John Malone’s Liberty Global Plc, Vincent Bollore’s Vivendi SA, Comcast Corp. or even toymaking rival Mattel Inc.The plethora of competing TV and film streaming services has sparked a fight for high-quality content, and eOne has some of the best, helped by relationships with Steven Spielberg, with whom it has a production joint venture, and super-producer Mark Gordon.Disney expanded from a production company into a merchandising and theme park giant, and its success under CEO Bob Iger has been built around recognizable franchises such as Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar’s output. Hasbro is making a play to do the same but in the opposite direction. High-quality content is increasingly scarce and expensive, though. That might make eOne an equally tasty morsel for someone else.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at awebb25@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Berlusconi Battles Billionaire to Build Netflix Rival
    Bloomberg

    Berlusconi Battles Billionaire to Build Netflix Rival

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and French billionaire Vincent Bollore are locking horns again in a battle to lead the southern European charge against Netflix Inc. Bollore, who controls media conglomerate Vivendi SA, lost the first round against Berlusconi in 2017. He’s well positioned to do better in the second. Think of it as a European version of HBO’s hit show “Succession,” where a rival takes on an aging but still powerful media baron. The two tycoons are sparring over the future of Mediaset SpA, the Italian broadcaster that Berlusconi founded and controls. The Milan-based company plans to merge with Spanish affiliate Mediaset Espana Comunicacion SA and redomicile in the Netherlands. The move will consolidate the control that Berlusconi, 82, and his family, through investment vehicle Fininvest, have by giving them extra voting rights in the new company, which will be called MediaForEurope.It’s a prospect that Bollore, 67, must be loath to countenance. Vivendi owns 29% of Mediaset and plans to oppose the deal in a shareholder vote Sept. 4 since it will further diminish its influence, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday. While Berlusconi needs a two-thirds majority to approve the merger, Vivendi may only be able to exercise 9.6% of the voting rights because most of its shares sit in an independent trust as a result of a 2017 reprimand from the Italian regulator -- Bollore’s initial defeat by Berlusconi. Luckily Vivendi has another lever it might exercise. The deal will fall through if shareholders owning more than 180 million euros of stock exercise a withdrawal right, whereby Mediaset has to pay investors opposing the merger a set price for their shares. Even if Vivendi were only to exercise the rights on its 9.6% direct stake, that would top 300 million euros, potentially scuppering Berlusconi’s plans.It might just give Bollore the leverage he needs to realize a long-held goal: creating a southern European content champion that can better compete with Netflix. Doing so would likely mean selling the stake at a loss, but the threat could  force Berlusconi back to the negotiating table to forge some sort of alliance to pool Vivendi and Mediaset content. After all, the merger of the two Mediasets in Italy and Spain has a similar intention, to create a new video content giant.That’s how Bollore ended up with a stake in Mediaset to begin with. Back in 2016, he pulled out of a deal to buy Berlusconi’s Mediaset Premium (the pay TV arm that has since been sold to Comcast Inc.’s Sky unit) for some 800 million euros, instead buying up shares in the parent firm. Since Vivendi is also the biggest shareholder in Telecom Italia SpA, Italy’s communications regulator made the French firm forfeit most of its Mediaset voting rights, saying that the dual stakes breached rules concerning concentration of media and telecoms ownership.Bollore has been left with stakes in two Italian companies worth a combined 3.2 billion euros, but over which he has little influence. He also suffered a galling defeat at the hands of activist Elliott Management Corp. for control of Telecom Italia last year. He now has an opportunity to salvage some of the plans that first got him into this mess.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at awebb25@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Baker at stebaker@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Mediaset files complaint against Vivendi with Italy watchdog
    Reuters

    Mediaset files complaint against Vivendi with Italy watchdog

    Mediaset has filed a complaint with Italy's market watchdog, accusing shareholder Vivendi of leaking information with a view to scuppering its corporate restructuring plans, the Italian broadcaster said on Thursday. Vivendi declined to comment. Mediaset in June announced plans to place its Italian and Spanish businesses under a Dutch holding company to pursue a pan-European growth strategy.

  • Vivendi Wants to Block Mediaset’s Dutch Holding Company Plan
    Bloomberg

    Vivendi Wants to Block Mediaset’s Dutch Holding Company Plan

    (Bloomberg) -- Mediaset SpA shareholder Vivendi SA plans to vote against the Italian TV company’s proposal to merge with its Spanish affiliate, according to people familiar with the matter, in a potential setback for the broadcaster’s ambition to create a European alliance. Mediaset investors will gather Sept. 4 to vote on a plan to create a Dutch-registered holding company to house the assets. The controlling shareholder, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s family, wants other national broadcasters to invest in the new entity, which would collaborate on data platforms and advertising in response to the growing threat from Netflix Inc.The plan is overshadowed by a long-simmering conflict between the Berlusconis and Vivendi. The French media group sees the Dutch holding, dubbed Media For Europe, as a move by the family to cement its control over Mediaset, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential.Whether Vivendi can block the merger is unclear. It holds around 29% of Mediaset and the vote needs a two-thirds majority to pass. However, most of Vivendi’s shares sit in an independent trust and it may only be able to vote using the remaining 9.6% of stock that it holds directly.A Vivendi spokesman declined to comment. A Mediaset representative said the company doesn’t comment on speculation based on anonymous and not official sources.Mediaset shares were down 0.5% as of 9:23 a.m. in Milan after falling as much as 1.3% at the open.If it loses next month’s vote, Vivendi will need to decide whether to tender its shares to the Dutch entity or sell out of Mediaset. That second option may be unappealing as Mediaset shares have been trading above the alternative cash buyout price of 2.77 euros ($3.07) offered to shareholders who don’t want the Dutch stock. The shares closed Tuesday trading at 2.95 euros in Milan.Even if the resolution does pass and Vivendi decides to remain a shareholder, its opposition to a cornerstone of Mediaset’s future strategy would only prolong the damaging feud.Mediaset Chief Executive Officer Pier Silvio Berlusconi said in July he didn’t expect Vivendi to withhold its participation in the new holding company.Vivendi found one potential ally on Tuesday when proxy advisory firm ISS said Mediaset shareholders should oppose the Dutch arrangement, saying it wasn’t “particularly attractive from a financial standpoint” and minorities would be worse off in terms of corporate governance.The Dutch structure may give extra voting rights to so-called “loyal” shareholders, an set-up that could allow the Berlusconis to maintain their control, ISS said.Still, another proxy advisory firm, Glass Lewis, said Mediaset shareholders should vote for the plan because the combined business would be more efficient.(Adds Mediaset shares in sixth paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Daniele Lepido in Milan at dlepido1@bloomberg.net;Tommaso Ebhardt in Milan at tebhardt@bloomberg.net;Geraldine Amiel in Paris at gamiel@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Thomas Pfeiffer at tpfeiffer3@bloomberg.net, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Moody's

    Tencent Holdings Limited -- Moody's: Tencent's rating unaffected by potential investment in Universal Music Group

    Moody's Investors Service says that Tencent Holdings Limited's (A1 stable) potential investment of a 10% stake in Universal Music Group (UMG) at a preliminary valuation of E3 billion will not immediately impact Tencent's A1 issuer and senior unsecured ratings, or the stable ratings outlook. "Although the investment -- if completed -- is sizable, we do not expect it will affect Tencent's strong credit profile, in view of the company's strong operating cash flow and track record of prudent financial management," says Lina Choi, a Moody's Senior Vice President.

  • Lady Gaga’s Label Finally Finds a Chinese Bandmate
    Bloomberg

    Lady Gaga’s Label Finally Finds a Chinese Bandmate

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Vivendi SA’s seemingly discordant search for an investor in Universal Music Group seems finally to have struck a positive note.The French media conglomerate is in preliminary talks to sell a 10% stake in the world’s biggest record label to Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., the Paris-based firm said on Tuesday. The deal would give the star asset – whose stable of artists include Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar and U2 – an equity valuation of 30 billion euros ($34 billion).The discussions come just over a year after Vivendi said it planned to sell as much as 50% of UMG: the process has been very much an adagio. An impending agreement will therefore be welcomed by shareholders.The tie-up makes a lot of sense for Vivendi, which is controlled by the billionaire Vincent Bollore. It highlights the underlying value of UMG and secures a new partner that might help it expand in China.Before Tuesday’s announcement, Vivendi’s total market capitalization was just 29 billion euros. A subsequent stock crescendo pushed that beyond the UMG valuation, but still implies that assets accounting for about 40% of profit – spanning the Canal+ broadcast group, Havas advertising agency, Gameloft video game studio, Editis publishing house and more – represent a far smaller fraction of the company’s overall value.The sticker price for UMG might be generous. Private equity investors had backed out earlier this year after balking at the price, Bloomberg News reported.  Tencent’s offer is in the middle of the broad span of valuations for the business, which ranged from as little as 20 billion euros to as much as 44 billion euros. Still, for the Chinese giant, 3 billion euros is a negligible price to pay for a seat at the music industry’s top table and to secure preferential treatment as it expands into new markets. It has $26 billion in cash and analysts forecast $15 billion of free cash flow this year.Strategically, Tencent is a more useful partner for Vivendi than other mooted (if unlikely) investors: Apple Inc. or Alphabet Inc.’s Google. Asia represented just 13% of UMG’s 2018 sales – there’s plenty of room for growth. Tencent Music Entertainment Group, which the Chinese firm controls, owns some of the country’s biggest music streaming services.Vivendi is optimistic that Tencent, with its dominant social network and keen understanding of the Chinese market, can help it expand in the region. It will be interesting to see how or if that works in practice. And other strategic players from the tech industry might be dissuaded from investing now that Tencent is involved, particularly at the same valuation. The concern for investors might be that this deal is the apotheosis for UMG in terms of external investment. It’s well short of the target to sell up to half of the firm. Nonetheless, Vivendi's stock had pared gains this year, partly due to concern about finding any investor at all for the label. Tencent might let the tempo pick up again.\--With assistance from Tim Culpan.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at awebb25@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Baker at stebaker@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • China's Tencent looks to buy 10% of Universal Music Group
    Yahoo Finance Video

    China's Tencent looks to buy 10% of Universal Music Group

    Oscar Williams-Grut covers today's top headlines.