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Vivendi takes stake in Fnac

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A 15% stake in Fnac was acquired on Tuesday by the wealthy and expanding media group, Vivendi.

Vivendi has been purchasing a number of new assets in recent months, having built up a sizable pool of revenue through the sales of its telecoms assets in Europe, Africa and South America. Chaired by Vincent Bolloré, the 15% stake in the French retail chain was agreed for €159, valuing the company at €54 per share.

“Vivendi is more interested in editorial product distribution than in white goods/kitchens,” said Cedric Lecasble, Analyst at Raymond James. “Fnac is late versus competition in setting up leading online music and movie distribution platforms. Vivendi’s catalogue, assets and resources could be most useful to accelerate the pace.”

According to a statement made by Fnac, the partnership will revolve around live events and ticketing.

Spectators called it an opportunistic move on the part of Bolloré, who is known as a shrewd businessman. Fnac was recently outbid by Wesfarmers for white-goods retailer Darty, which has 335 stores in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Prior to the move by Vivendi, Fnac said it was “strongly” advising shareholders at Darty to “not make any short term decisions about their shares.”

Published on Wednesday 13 April by Philip Gallagher

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