A French Book-Publishing Takeover Worthy of Netflix

The long-running saga at French book publisher Lagardère may at last be drawing to a close. A takeover by media giant Vivendi would make a good ending for shareholders in the troubled company and start a new chapter for its suitor.

Vivendi, which is controlled by French billionaire Vincent Bolloré, said late Wednesday that it has agreed to buy the 18% stake in Lagardère built up by activist investor Amber Capital. Provided the deal gets approval from antitrust authorities, Vivendi will make a takeover offer for the rest of the company. Lagardère’s Paris-listed stock jumped 19% Thursday.