Vivendi Buys 15% Stake in French Entertainment Retailer Fnac

Vivendi SA, the media company headed by billionaire Vincent Bollore, bought a 15 percent stake in retailer Groupe Fnac SA, as the French companies expand their live-events and digital businesses into international markets.

Vivendi will opt for a reserved capital increase to raise 159 million euros ($181 million) at a price of 54 euros per share, amounting to Fnac’s closing share price on April 8, according to a statement Monday. The stake includes voting rights.

Vivendi is executing a plan to build a media group around its French pay-TV station Canal Plus, seeking combinations to expand in video, music and distribution in southern Europe. Bollore has led the company’s push to acquire stakes in Telecom Italia SpA, Italy’s biggest phone carrier, as well as game makers Gameloft SE and Ubisoft Entertainment SA.

The deal with Fnac may include partnerships in live events and ticketing as well as shared access to digital services, the companies said in the statement. The Vivendi investment also will help Fnac’s international development in southern Europe and Africa, where Vivendi has been operating for two decades.

Fnac, whose operations extend as far as Brazil and Morocco, will propose two directors to represent Vivendi on its board, according to the statement.

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