Qatar boosts stake in French media giant Vivendi

Investment is the Gulf State’s third major investment in France this year
Qatar boosts stake in French media giant Vivendi
Qatar Holding has increased its stake in Vivendi (Bloomberg).
By Shane McGinley
Thu 22 Mar 2012 12:51 PM

Qatar Holding has increased its
stake in Vivendi, owner of the world’s largest music and video-game makers, as
the Gulf state ramps up its investments in France.

The investment arm of the Qatari
sovereign wealth fund purchased 5.6m shares in the Paris-based media
conglomerate to increase its shareholding from 1.55 percent at the end of
2011 to two percent.

The value of the stake has been estimated at around
€354m (US$468.81m).

Founded in 1853, Vivendi’s main
assets including French film and television company Canal Plus Group, Universal
Music Publishing Group and US video games giant Activision Blizzard.

Vivendi is the latest French
company the gas-rich Gulf state has increased its investment in, following its
injection of cash this week into radio and book publisher Lagardere.

Qatar Holding said in a
regulatory filing it could raise the stake further after increasing it to 12.8
percent and may seek representation on the group's supervisory board.

Qatar Holding now owns 16.82m
of the shares, giving it just over 10 percent of voting rights in the group and
making it the largest shareholder in the firm.

Earlier this month, Qatari
investors also bought the remaining 30 percent stake in French football club
Paris St Germain from US investment fund Colony Capital.

Qatar Sports Investment bought
the stake roughly eight months after Colony had sold the other 70 percent of
the capital city's only top league club to Qatari investors.

The deal means Qatar now owns 100 percent of
the Paris club.

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