Vivendi is negotiating the sale of the Editis publishing house with a company from the Křetínský empire

Vivendi is negotiating the sale of the Editis publishing house with a company from the Křetínský empire

Vivendi is negotiating the sale of the Editis publishing house with a company from the Cretan Empire

Daniel Křetínský in an archive picture.

Paris/Prague – The French media conglomerate Vivendi has started exclusive negotiations on the sale of its 100% stake in the Editis publishing house to International Media Invest (IMI). It is a subsidiary of the Czech Media Invest (CMI) company of businessman Daniel Křetínský. Vivendi announced this today in a press release. Křetínský ČTK said that he has a long-term vision for Editis, which is the second largest publishing house in France, and that he wants to maintain loyalty to French cultural values.

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Vivendi does not mention the value of the transaction. Grégoire Laverne from APICIL Asset Management estimates it at 600 million to 900 million euros (14.3 billion to 21.4 billion CZK). APICIL Asset is a shareholder of Vivendi. The transaction will have to be approved by the European Commission (EC).

“The possibility of becoming a shareholder of a publishing flagship such as Editis, if this process is completed, makes me happy and proud,” said Křetínský. “I am aware of the responsibility that such an acquisition entails, given the quality of the companies that make up the group and their place in the history of the French intellectual sphere,” he added.

“We thank Vivendi for their trust. IMI believes that the approval process in Brussels and the negotiations with the bodies representing the employees will turn out positively and that Editis will thus obtain the means to ensure its independence and further development,” CMI board member Daniel Častvaj told ČTK.

Vivendi is controlled by French billionaire Vincent Bollore. The sale of the Editis publishing house is part of Vivendi's strategy to overcome regulatory hurdles in its bid to take over media company Lagardère.

“By selling Editis, Vivendi wants to get the European Commission to give permission to take over Lagardère,” said Laverne from APICIL. Vivendi said the exclusive deal with Křetínský means it is abandoning an earlier plan to spin off the Editis publishing house and list it on the Paris stock exchange. group in the world and now falls under Lagardère. Hachette's possible merger with Editis has drawn criticism from independent publishers and led to Editis losing some well-known authors, Reuters reported.

Křetínský already has a minority stake in the French newspaper Le Monde. Through the CMI holding, it also owns several French press titles such as Elle, Tele7 Jours and the news magazine Marianne. Křetínský also applied to take over French television M6, but it ended up being in the hands of the German company Bertelsmann.

In the Czech Republic, together with his business partner Patrik Tkáč, Křetínský controls the company Czech News Center. Its portfolio includes, among others, the dailies Blesk, Sport, Aha! and E15 or Reflex magazine.