Vivendi will sell “Gala” to keep “Paris Match”


Posted Apr 11, 2023, 2:32 PMUpdated on Apr 11, 2023, 2:54 PM This is a…

Vivendi will sell “Gala” to keep “Paris Match”

Vivendi will sell “Gala” to keep “Paris Match”

Posted Apr 11, 2023, 2:32 PMUpdated on Apr 11, 2023, 2:54 PM

This is a final obstacle that falls on the road to the takeover of Lagardère by Vivendi. After initiating the process of sale of 100% of Editis, the media giant controlled by the Bolloré family has reluctantly decided to put the people weekly “Gala” up for sale.

This “remedy” should be officially proposed Wednesday evening by Vivendi, owner of the press group Prisma Media, to the European Commission, in order to allay its fears about the constitution of a monopoly on the people press segment.

Brussels took a dim view of the gathering in the same set of titles “Voici”, “Gala”, both from Prisma Media, and “Paris Match”, from the Lagardère group. Contacted, Vivendi refuses to comment.

Realistic choice

According to our information, Claire Léost, the boss of Prisma Media, met with the “Gala” teams on Tuesday morning to inform them of the decision to sell the weekly. In an internal note to Prisma employees, the manager explains that in the eyes of the European Commission, “Gala” is a direct competitor of “Paris Match” on the people press market.

“We absolutely do not share this analysis and have been trying for months to provide answers to these unfounded fears,” she writes. Despite all our efforts, we have not succeeded in convincing the European Commission and Vivendi is forced to propose the sale of Gala”.

A realistic choice. The issue of the gossip market was the last stumbling block on which the European antitrust policeman remained inflexible. The European Commission recently gave itself an extra month, until June 14, to conclude its in-depth investigation into the proposed Vivendi-Lagardère merger.

“It is from this date that we will study the takeover offers made by potential buyers, indicates the memo sent by Claire Léost to her teams. We will make sure to choose a media player who has an ambitious project for “Gala” and will allow it to continue its development. “Even if the process of selling “Gala” has not yet officially started, the sale should be completed “by the end of 2023”, indicates the note.

Powerful on TikTok

According to the ACPM, the title had a paid circulation of 128,000 copies on average in 2022, down 4.7% over the financial year. In the second half of 2022, its cumulative audience reached 1.23 million readers over the age of 15 (+14% over one year).

Thanks to an intense effort on the digital front, “Gala” has also experienced strong growth in recent years on social networks, in particular on Tik Tok, where the title has 5.7 million subscribers. What stir up some lust, especially since this forced sale does not place the seller in an ideal position to negotiate.

But the game is worth the candle for Vivendi, determined to finalize its takeover bid for Lagardère. With “Paris Match”, whose paid circulation reached 478,000 copies in 2022, its magazine press division would be greatly strengthened.

Almost two years after its takeover by Vivendi, Prisma Media, which has just launched a fashion title “Harper’s Bazaar” is already the leading French magazine press group (“Capital”, “Géo”, “Voici”, “Télé-Loisirs”, etc.).

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