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Details of Banijay-Zodiak structure emerge

Banijay-ZodiakVivendi could ultimately take control of the soon-to-be-created Banijay-Zodiak group, according to Les Echos.

Initially, Stéphane Courbit’s LOV Group will have 37.5% of the new group and five seats on the board, with Courbit the chairman.

De Agostini will have about 36% and Vivendi 26%, and they will have three and two board seats respectively.

Les Echos ran a detailed piece about the new group today, and noted that Vivendi will pay €290 million (US$313.9 million) and invest an initial €100 million for a 26.2% stake in the new business.

Further investment options mean that ownership level could rise to 49.9%, or more if it also buys into Lov Group, over the next seven years, the French newspaper said. The ownership structure, however, remains largely in the hands of Courbit who will select whether the relevant bonds are converted into cash or equity.

The creation of the new super-group was formally approved by the EU last week.

Les Echos says the new group will, with annual revenues of about €900 million, be the third largest of its kind in Europe, behind FremantleMedia and market leader Endemol Shine Group, which today acquired digital agency OP Talent and shortform producer Electric Robin.

The deal is expected to be finalised in mid-February and create a global production and distribution group that counts Bunim Murray, RDF Television, Stephen David Entertainment and Brainpool among its prodco assets.

Banijay’s other shareholders, AMS Industries and the Agnelli family, will cash out upon completion of the agreement next month, according to the paper.