PUTEAUX, France (Reuters) - Vincent Bollore said on Thursday he wanted his son Yannick to eventually take over as chief executive of Vivendi, the French media group where Bollore is chairman and leading shareholder.
Bollore, aged 65, has already stated his plan is to hand over his majority-owned Bollore Group to his four children in 2022, the year of the conglomerate’s bincentenary.
Four years ago Yannick, 37, became chief executive of advertising group Havas , which is 60 percent-owned by Bollore and last year he joined Vivendi’s supervisory board, chaired by his father.
“You understand what my next intentions are,” Vincent Bollore told Vivendi’s shareholders at their annual meeting on Thursday, referring to the role of his son as head of Havas. “That is that Yannick takes over Vivendi,” he said.
Bollore did not provide any timing for the succession plan at Vivendi, whose current chief executive is Arnaud de Puyfontaine.
Last month Bollore took a first step toward merging Havas and Vivendi with Vivendi making an offer to buy Bollore’s stake in Havas for over 2.3 billion euros. A merger would add a third key division to the media group, which owns the world’s biggest music label Universal Music Group (UMG) and France’s biggest pay-TV group Canal Plus.
Bollore’s eldest son Cyrille already leads Bollore’s transportation and logistics division, the biggest and most lucrative business in the group.
His third son Sebastien is a board member of Gameloft, a mobile video-games maker bought by Vivendi last year, while his daughter Marie is in charge of the Bollore Group’s electric vehicles business.
Asked by a shareholder on Thursday about the possibility of spinning off Universal with an initial public share offer, Bollore confirmed that the group’s teams were reviewing that option.
“The value (of UMG) increases every day and it’s true that an IPO would be an interesting thing,” he said. “The key question for an IPO is to know when is the best time to do it. It’s like cheese puffs, you have to take them out at the right moment.”
(This story ws refiled to add missing word, Havas, in paragraph 3)
Editing by Greg Mahlich