French pay-TV channel Canal Plus, owned by media and utility group Vivendi, is said to be nearing completion of negotiations to acquire Canadian entertainment and drinks conglomerate Seagram.
The three companies are today holding individual board meetings and a done deal may be announced tomorrow. Media observers believe that the talks will result in the creation of Vivendi Universal, a global media giant with $65bn (£44bn) in turnover and a market capitalisation of $100bn.
Vivendi is said to be eager to dispose of Seagram’s drinks business to allow maximum focus on the merged companies’ entertainment and media interests. Seagram wine, spirit and retailing brands up for grabs include Glenlivet and Chivas Regal scotch whisky, Martell cognac and Mumm Cordon Rouge champagne plus the Oddbins chain of wine merchants.
Allied Domecq is rumoured to be a possible contender, as is the Bronfman family, founders of the Seagram empire.
News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)