Vincent Bolloré’s company is increasing its hold on Vivendi through a series of measures that will see its stake in the media giant rise above 20%.
Thanks to French rules that allocate double voting rights to long-term shareholdings, the latest moves by Bolloré will furthermore see his voting rights in the company rise to 29% between now and April 20 next year.
Bolloré, who currently holds a 15% stake in Vivendi, is tightening his grip on the company through the completion of a loan of 34.7 million shares to the value of 2.7%, and the acquisition of options to buy further shares that give the entrepreneur the immediate rights to a further 2.7%, taking his total to 20.4%.
Bolloré had previously added 2.6% via the completion of an operation initiated last year that added 34 million shares to his holding.
Bolloré Group said that the latest set of manoeuvres were evidence of its confidence in the future of Vivendi and its intention to remain as a long-term shareholder in the group.
Bolloré’s stake in Vivendi still accounts for a relatively small proportion – just over 20% – of his overall portfolio of assets, which are focused primarily in transport and logistics. However, Bolloré has demonstrated his interest in building a position in media over a number of years, and has been actively reshaping the focus of French pay TV business Canal+.
He entered Vivendi’s capital in 2011 through an exchange of shares at the time of his sale of free-to-air TV channels D8 and D17 to the group.