Bollore Group raises stake in Vivendi to above 20 per cent threshold level

French investment and industrial holding firm Bollore Group today strengthened its hold in Vivendi by raising its stake in the Paris-based mass media giant to above the 20-per cent threshold level.

Bollore Group, the investment arm of French tycoon Vincent Bollore, will now hold around 29 per cent of the voting rights of Vivendi by 20 April 2017, by taking into account the double voting rights attached to these shares.

Bollore Group, which held a 15-per cent stake in Vivendi, said the share purchase notably reflected the settlement in cash of an existing hedging and financing on 34 million Vivendi shares and the acquisition of another 34.7 million shares through a share loan agreement maturing on 25 June 2019.

''These operations reflect the confidence the Bollore Group has in Vivendi's potential for development and its willingness to remain as reference shareholder of the company in the long term,'' it said in a statement.

The investment is now worth more than €5 billion in the company that currently has a market cap of €23.53 billion.

Vincent Bollore became chairman of Vivendi in 2014, and this May appointed his son Yannick to the company's board.

Vivendi, which last year sold its telecom unit SFR Group SA to Numericable, the French cable company controlled by the billionaire Patrick Drahi, for over €17 billion, has built a stake in Telecom Italia and also in video games makers Gameloft and Ubisoft.