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Bronfman Family Holdings

October 08, 2002

The value of the Bronfman family's holdings in Vivendi Universal has plummeted as the share price has fallen more than 80%. Though the Bronfmans still hold the largest single block of stock, the family has sold nearly half of its Vivendi Universal shares during the last 22 months.

* December 2000: The Bronfman family holds 88.9 million shares worth $65 each, or $5.8 billion.

* October 2002: The family holds 51.5 million shares worth about $11 each, or $567 million.

Edgar Bronfman Jr.

Edgar Bronfman Jr.'s responsibilities as a Vivendi Universal board member now include acting as a liaison between Paris and the American entertainment companies. Key moments in his career:

* 1989: Named Seagram president and chief operating officer at age 34.

* 1993: Leads Seagram purchase of 15% of Time Warner over a two-year period. Average share price: $38.

* 1994: Named Seagram president and chief executive.

* 1995: Leads Seagram purchase of 80% of MCA, parent company of Universal Studios and MCA Music, for $5.7 billion from Matsushita Electric Industrial. To pay for MCA, Bronfman sells Seagram's 24.2% stake in DuPont at $56 a share, or $8.8 billion. When DuPont's share price later doubles, other Bronfman family members criticize the move.

* 1997: Agrees to buy Viacom's half of USA Network cable channel for $1.7 billion. Later sells Barry Diller 55% of MCA's television assets, including USA, for $4.1 billion.

* 1998: Sells the last of Seagram's stake in Time Warner for an average share price of $57. Buys PolyGram Music for $10.6 billion; the merger would take MCA Music from the No. 6 music company to No. 1 in worldwide sales.

* 2000: Closes the sale of Seagram, including Universal Studios, to Vivendi for $24 billion. A stock swap makes the Bronfmans the largest private shareholders in the company.

* 2002: Resigns as a Vivendi Universal executive; remains on the board of directors.

Source: Times research

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