Lagardere predicts Canal Plus IPO

French media group Lagardere will sell its stake in pay-TV group Canal+ France in an initial public offering (IPO) in spring 2011, its Chief Financial Officer Dominique d’Hinnin has stated.

D’Hinnin told investors that Canal+’s majority owner Vivendi had never responded to a price proposal Lagardere had sent early this year, and there had been no negotiations (Vivendi has an option to offer for the minority partners shares). “We’re moving full speed, the Canal+ management is working very actively on it, and I have no reason to believe today it won’t happen. The IPO is going to happen next spring.”

D’Hinnin declined to comment on the value of the Canal+ stake, which analysts have put at between €1.2 and €1.4 billion, before seeing 2010 results.

Lagardere, whose main businesses are book and magazine publishing, sports-rights management and airport retail, is under pressure to boost its share value by divesting minority stakes in non-core businesses.

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