Vivendi is negotiating the sale of the Editis publishing house

French media group Vivendi has entered exclusive talks to sell its publishing house Editis to Czech Media Invest, founded by billionaire Daniel Křetínský, a move that could pave the way for a bigger deal with Lagardère.

The sale of Editis is a prerequisite for obtaining EU regulators’ approval for Vivendi’s acquisition of publishing and retail group Lagardère. Competition authorities had objected to the idea that Vivendi controlled both Editis and Hachette, which belongs to Lagardère.

No price tag was given, but Vivendi wrote Editis’ value down by €300m to €529m last week.

Vivendi originally planned to list Editis on the Euronext Growth stock exchange via a share distribution and then sell the Bolloré family’s 30 percent stake to an investor. The group had held talks with three parties over Bolloré’s stake but said the share distribution project was on hold after receiving “multiple offers” for the entire company.

Křetínský, who has built one of Europe’s largest energy groups through a series of acquisitions over the past decade, is the majority shareholder in J Sainsbury and Royal Mail, and also holds stakes in French newspaper Le Monde, food retailer Casino and German retailer Metro AG. Vivendi is negotiating the sale of the Editis publishing house

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