By Mauro Orru
Bollore SE isn't ruling out a tender offer for Vivendi SE if its ownership of the media group were to exceed a threshold set by France's markets regulator.
Vivendi said Friday that it had received a letter from Bollore Group, a conglomerate steered by the family of French billionaire Vincent Bollore, stating that if its shareholding were to exceed 30% of Vivendi's share capital or voting rights, the company wouldn't ask for an exemption from the obligation to file a tender offer for Vivendi.
Requirements from France's AMF oblige companies exceeding that threshold in another listed firm to submit a tender offer, although exemptions are possible.
Bollore is Vivendi's largest shareholder with a stake of about 27%, according to FactSet. However, the company won't necessarily exceed 30% "since the Bollore Group companies have the option of selling Vivendi shares, in particular to avoid the crossing of the threshold," Vivendi said.
The announcement comes as Vivendi is due to hold its annual general meeting on June 22, when it will ask shareholders to back a share capital reduction by up to 50% through a public share buyback offer to be followed by the cancellation of repurchased shares.
Vivendi said Bollore could take part in the share capital reduction by tendering its shares to the share buyback offer, although a decision hasn't been made as yet.
Write to Mauro Orru at firstname.lastname@example.org; @MauroOrru94
(END) Dow Jones Newswires