Vivendi buys stake in Banijay-Zodiak

The global media and content group is acquiring a 26.2% stake in the soon-to-merge superindie.
November 12, 2015

Global media and content group Vivendi is purchasing a 26.2% stake in the Banijay-Zodiak superindie.

The company, owners of Universal Music Group, Canal+ Group and Dailymotion, announced via its most recent financial report for Q3 2015 that it had entered into a memorandum of understanding on November 5 which detailed the terms and conditions of its investment.

Vivendi will pay €100 million, or US$107 million, to obtain the stake in the soon-to-merge company, and also pay €190 million for two bonds – the first of which, worth €100 million and redeemable in shares or cash, is to be issued by Banijay-Zodiak and, following a seven-year maturity, would give Banijay-Zodiak the option of either redeeming it for cash, or converting it into shares in the company, which, in addition to the shares already owned by Vivendi, would bring its interest in Banijay-Zodiak to a maximum of 49.9%.

The second bond, worth €90 million, is to be issued by Lov-Banijay, a holding company controlled by Financière Lov, which would, upon maturity, give Lov-Banijay the option of redeeming it in cash or converting it to shares which would give Vivendi a 25% interest in that company.

The total investment from Vivendi is approximately $311 million.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2016. The Banijay-Zodiak merger is also expected to be finalized soon, making it the world’s third largest producer of entertainment programming, according to Vivendi.

“The combined company will own a powerful portfolio of popular brands and formats in the fields of entertainment, drama, factual, reality entertainment, docudramas, as well as children’s and animation programs,” said Vivendi in a statement. “It will also bring together a formidable community of innovative creative talent who are developing the next generation of quality entertainment programs.”

Vivendi announced its intentions to invest in Banijay-Zodiak in September, when it revealed in its half-year financial report that it had entered into exclusive negotiations to be a minority partner in the merged entity.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.