The founder of Free would be in the running to get their hands on the second French publishing group, but many other players are keeping an eye on the file.
Xavier Niel is known to the general public for having founded the Iliad group, which owns the operator Free, but the billionaire’s empire is much larger and spans many sectors.
Xavier Niel would be a candidate for the acquisition of Editis, with other billionaires and industrial groups
In addition to his multiple equity investments in countless start-ups, Xavier Niel notably owns the Le Monde group, which publishes the famous national daily, but also the Nice Matin group. In the media, the entrepreneur is one of the shareholders of the Mediawan media group, which has produced several films, series and television shows.
Xavier Niel had not yet shown any interest in the field of publishing, but this could quickly change according to information from the specialized journal Letter Ataken up by our colleagues fromFreebox Universe.
The founder of Free could indeed file an offer to buy Editis, the number two in publishing, now owned by Vincent Bolloré’s Vivendi group.
A takeover closely monitored by the European Commission
The takeover of Editis is the major subject that has been agitating the publishing community for many months. Vivendi has no choice today but to sell its flagship, which owns prestigious houses such as Julliard, Plon or Robert Laffont, if it wants to buy the Lagardère group, and consequently the Hachette group, the French leader of the book. The competition authorities have conditioned the purchase of Hachette (Editions Stock, Fayard, Grasset, Larousse, but also the rights toAsterix) at the sale of Editis.
Xavier Niel is however not alone on the file and many industrialists also wish to get their hands on the group. Reworld Media and Mondadori, as well as billionaires Daniel Kretinsky and Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière would or could submit an offer. Bernard Arnault (LVMH) and Rodolphe Saadé (CMA CGM) would also be interested.
Vivendi expects a sum of 700 million euros, including 200 million euros in debt, a sum considered very high by experts in the sector and which could discourage some potential buyers.
The group controlled by Vincent Bolloré will also have to convince the European Commission that the takeover of Editis by a group that already has a foothold in French publishing does not create a juggernaut in the sector that will pose competition problems.
The closing date for applications is scheduled by Vivendi for this Friday, December 2.
Source : Freebox Universe