PARIS -- Vincent Bolloré, the Brittany-born billionaire and Vivendi chairman, has upped his stake in the French media conglomerate to 20.4%.Bolloré previously owned 15% of the group, which includes Universal Music Group, Canal Plus Group and Dailymotion. By crossing the 20% threshold, he will be able to double his voting rights in Vivendi to 29% starting next April, as per an upcoming French law.In the last 24 hours, the company’s share price slightly dipped by 0.30% to 18.35 euros.Among his recent strategic moves,...
Known as a corporate raider in the world of media, Brittany-born billionaire Vincent Bolloré was chairman of Vivendi, the parent company of Canal Plus Group and Universal Music Group, from 2014 to 2018.
Upon taking Vivendi’s reins, Bollore engineered a major overhaul of Canal Plus’s top management. Maxime Saada was appointed CEO of paybox group Canal Plus and Didier Lupfer was tapped chairman and CEO of Studiocanal, the film and TV production and distribution studio, which has the world’s third largest film library.
Following the sale of Activision Blizzard, Bolloré also led Vivendi into the video game industry with the acquisition of Gameloft, the online gaming company, and a 30 percent stake in Gameloft’s sister banner Ubisoft, which is behind “Assassin’s Creed” and “Splinter Cell,” among other hit video game franchises.
Under Bolloré’s leadership, Vivendi also built alliances with telco companies, such as Telecom Italia, Telefonica in Spain and Orange and Free in France to form a Southern European media giant that could compete with global players such as Netflix, Amazon and Altice Group, the parent company of SFR. Vivendi also became Mediaset’s second biggest shareholder with a 30 percent stake, amid an ongoing legal spat between the two companies.
In 2016, Vivendi launched Studio Plus, an offer of mobile-native premium scripted series, in partnership with local telcos. Under Bollore’s watch, Universal Music Group thrived, growing its streaming revenues significantly in 2016, while Canal Plus expanded its presence overseas, especially in Africa, where it more than doubled its subscriber base. Bollore’s main challenge was jumpstarting the growth of Canal Plus Group’s premium channels in France, which lost nearly half a million subscribers there in 2016.
In 2017, Bollore began consolidating his media holdings by acquiring the 59.2% stake his other company, Bollore Group, has in advertising agency Havas. After stepping down from Vivendi in 2018, he remained Chairman & CEO of its owner Bolloré until March 2019, when his son Cyrille Bolloré took over the reins.