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Vivendi Universal

From Academic Kids

Vivendi Universal (VU) is a French company active in media and communications with activities in music, television and film, publishing, telecommunications and the Internet.

Vivendi Universal is listed on Euronext Paris (code 12777) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol V). Its stock is part of the CAC 40 stock market index.

The company disclosed a corporate loss of 23.3 billion euros in its 2002 annual report: the worst loss to this date for a French company. Its Chairman and CEO, Jean-Marie Messier was ousted among intense media coverage.

Contents

History

Vivendi Universal was created in December of 2000 with the massive merger of the Vivendi media empire with Canal+ television networks and the Canadian company Seagram, the owner of Universal Studios film company.

See the individual companies' articles for pre-merger company history.

2001

2002

  • In 2002, VU began facing financial trouble. It began financial reshuffling, trying to shore up media holdings while selling off shares in its spin-off companies.
  • VU reduced its stake in Vivendi Environnement to 40% and sold its stake in Vinci.
  • The flamboyant company's Chairman and CEO, Jean-Marie Messier (who had overseen the most dramatic phase of Vivendi's diversification) resigned. He was replaced by Jean-Rene Fourtou. The company then began reorganizing to stave off bankruptcy. The company announced its strategy to sell non-strategic assets. Its largest single shareholder was the family of Edgar Bronfman, Jr., who was head of Seagram at the time of the merger.
  • VU sold its stake in Vizzavi to Vodafone, with the exception of Vizzavi France. It also sold 20.4% of Vivendi Environnement's capital to a group of investors, and its stake in North American satellite operator EchoStar Communications Corporation.

2003

  • VU sold Canal+ Technologies to Thomson (formerly Thomson Multimédia); Tele+ to News Corporation and Telecom Italia. It also sold its 26.3% interest in Xfera.
  • On March 6, 2003, Vivendi disclosed its annual report (term ended at December 31,2002), that is downloadable in pdf format on its site. Some highlights include:
    • Corporate loss of 23.3 billion euros: the worst loss for a French company.
    • Net debt of 12.3 billion euros
    • Vivendi will sell assets for 7 billons euros in 2003
  • On December 1, 2003, Vivendi closed a deal to sell MP3.com to CNET.

2004


2005

  • Vivendi Universal cancels the Tribes Vengeance patch. Many fans are outraged.

Current assets (partial list)

See also

External link

fr:Vivendi Universal

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