In its capacity as a Canal+ France shareholder1, Lagardère has summoned Vivendi and Groupe Canal+ (hereinafter “the Vivendi group”) to appear in the Paris commercial court on March 21, 2013, for the purposes of obtaining a restitution from the Vivendi group to Canal+ France of its cash, which amounted to close to €1.6 billion on November 30, 2012.
Lagardère believes that the Vivendi group is making permanent use of Canal+ France’s entire cash surplus under a cash management agreement, the legality of which Lagardère contests.
Lagardère considers that the use made by the Vivendi group of this cash management agreement has caused significant harm to Canal+ France, since it:
(i) receives a very low interest, which does not take into account either the amounts at stake or the permanent nature of its use by the Vivendi group;
(ii) is providing low-cost funding for the goals pursued by the Vivendi group’s wholly-owned subsidiaries;
(iii) is exposed to financial risks that are not justified given the absence of any guarantee protecting Canal+ France.
Lagardère believes that this action is necessary to defend Canal+ France’s corporate interests.
Lastly, Lagardère regrets that this situation, which was created by the Vivendi group, has caused a deadlock preventing Canal+ France, as things stand, from going ahead with an IPO in normal conditions.
1Lagardère owns a 20% stake in Canal+ France.
Lagardère is a world-class pure-play media group (Book and e-Publishing; Press, Audiovisual, Digital and Advertising Sales Brokerage; Travel Retail and Distribution; Sport Industry and Entertainment).
With a holding of around 7.5%, Lagardère jointly controls EADS.
Lagardère shares are listed on Euronext Paris.