Vivendi, the parent company of Canal Plus and Universal Music Group, has entered exclusive negotiations with Gruner + Jahr/Bertelsmann to acquire 100% of Prisma Media, a leading publishing group in France.
“This acquisition would perfectly fit with Vivendi’s strategy as a leading media, content and communications group, complementing the scope of its existing activities,” said Vivendi in a release. The company said the pact would also “offer interesting opportunities for cooperation within the Group and development of the high-quality Prisma Media publications.”
Vivendi has ramped up its position in the publishing field in the last couple of years with the acquisition of the Editis, a prominent French-language publishing group, and recently bought a 26.7% stake in Lagardere, a publishing and retail group whose top assets include Hachette Livre, the largest publishing company in France and the world’s third largest trade and educational publisher.
The deal with Prisma remains subject to regulatory approval and consultation with representative bodies, and the finalization of legal documentation.
Prisma Media is active in the print and digital landscapes with 20 key leading magazine brands, from Femme Actuelle to GEO, as well as Capital, Gala and Télé-Loisirs. The group’s brands reach 42 million people in France every month, through subscriptions or online content. Prisma Media is a subsidiary of Gruner + Jahr, part of the Bertelsmann group.
Earlier this year, Vivendi also took part in Banijay Group’s takeover of Endemol Shine and now owns a 32.9% share in the merged entity, which ranks as the largest non-U.S. television producer-distributor.
Over the weekend, Italian prosecutors indicted Vivendi’s former chairman Vincent Bolloré and current CEO Arnaud De Puyfontaine in a probe over alleged market manipulation stemming from legal wrangling prompted by Vivendi and Mediaset‘s botched 2016 pay-TV deal.
Vivendi saw its consolidated revenues go up by 2.4% to €11.6 billion ($14.1 billion) during the first nine months of 2020, and up 1.3 % during the third quarter.