February 7, 2003 |
Vivendi Universal on Thursday replaced the head of its Canal Plus Group and abandoned plans for a public stock offering of the troubled pay-TV company, putting added pressure on chief Jean-Rene Fourtou to raise cash by selling other assets, including some of its U.S. entertainment holdings. As expected, Vivendi named Bertrand Meheut, the No.
February 27, 1999 |
Canal Plus, Europe's No. 1 pay-TV company, said it's in talks with British Sky Broadcasting Group, the second-biggest, on a possible linkup. The announcement follows comments by BSkyB Chairman Jerome Seydoux, who told reporters Friday that the companies are "talking about everything, but the talks principally cover a merger--a merger between BSkyB and Canal Plus." Canal Plus and Vivendi, its parent company, later said the discussions are at a "very preliminary stage."
July 23, 2002 |
In a significant first step toward redefining itself, Vivendi Universal plans to sell off unprofitable portions of Canal Plus Group and float a minority stake in the remaining French pay-TV company. The move, part of a companywide effort to slash the French utility and media company's massive debt, would allow Vivendi to raise as much as $5 billion while keeping control of the powerful media property.
June 20, 1996 |
The turmoil over Europe's fast-emerging, multibillion-dollar digital pay TV market is intensifying. In recent weeks, media companies have announced programming packages that will bring digital pay TV to Germany, Scandinavia and the Benelux countries--Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg--for the first time this summer. At the same time, an alliance of media giants aimed at the Continent's large and lucrative German market has all but collapsed due to internal differences.
February 12, 1993 |
Canal Plus, the European pay television heavyweight that has been pouring money into Hollywood to become a major entertainment player, is about to turn down the spigot. Canal Plus this week struck a deal to gradually withdraw from its equity partnership with Warner Bros.-based producer Arnon Milchan, which has resulted in both big hits ("Under Siege") and misses ("Memoirs of an Invisible Man").
July 27, 2000 |
Vivendi's agreement to acquire Seagram Co. and part of Canal Plus was approved by a French regulator after concessions by Vivendi. But analysts suggested the changes could jeopardize the terms of the $46-billion accord. The French media and utility company agreed to modify the acquisition, giving control of Canal Plus' French pay-TV subscriber base back to Canal Plus Programmes, a unit that will be 49% owned by Vivendi, the regulator said.
December 6, 2001 |
Vivendi Universal Chairman Jean-Marie Messier on Wednesday flagged the possibility of teaming his TV arm, Canal Plus, with the assets of U.S. cable king John Malone, saying he saw strategic sense in an alliance. Speaking at a UBS Warburg media conference in New York, Messier said linking the European programming and distribution assets of pay-TV operator Canal Plus with Malone's cable group, Liberty Media Corp., offered "the best strategic outcome."
April 6, 2001 |
Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and Vivendi Universal Chief Executive Jean-Marie Messier are discussing a possible merger of their Italian pay-television units, the Financial Times reported Thursday. Murdoch, chairman of News Corp., is in the early stages of exploring a tie-up between Stream, which News Corp. owns jointly with Telecom Italia, and Telepiu, owned by Vivendi's Canal Plus. Neither company's representatives would comment.
June 27, 2000 |
Canal Plus minority shareholders may try to block the acquisition of Europe's biggest pay-TV company by Vivendi if they aren't offered better terms for their shares, the head of a French shareholder group said. The Assn. for the Defense of Minority Shareholders will first ask a French financial market regulator to force Vivendi to make a higher bid for the 51% of Canal Plus it doesn't already own, said Colette Neuville, president of the association.
April 30, 2003 |
Can you hear me now? Vivendi Universal Chief Executive Jean-Rene Fourtou, under pressure from shareholders to articulate a corporate strategy, said explicitly for the first time Tuesday that the French conglomerate would bid adieu to Hollywood and focus on becoming a telecommunications giant. He said the exit would be complete by 2004.