December 9, 2000 |
Canal Plus shareholders approved Vivendi's $9-billion acquisition of Europe's biggest pay-television company, the last step in the 147-year-old French utility's make-over into the world's No. 2 media company. The vote followed shareholder backing Tuesday of Vivendi's $30.2-billion purchase of Seagram Co., owner of Universal Music. Both purchases close today, and the company will begin trading as Vivendi Universal on Monday, Vivendi Chief Executive Jean-Marie Messier said.
December 2, 2000 |
Vivendi may face new difficulty in its acquisitions of Seagram Co. and Canal Plus after a representative from the French movie industry said he will ask a court to force more concessions from the company. The acquisition, which would create the world's second-largest media company, has been approved by France's audiovisual regulator, CSA. Film representatives are worried the French television broadcaster won't be able to meet its obligation to subsidize French movies.
October 14, 2000 |
Vivendi won European Union antitrust clearance to buy Seagram Co. and Canal Plus for $44 billion, on condition that the French media and utility company sell its stake in British Sky Broadcasting Group. By agreeing to sell within two years its 23% stake in BSkyB, worth as much as $8 billion, Vivendi avoided an extended probe by the EU's antitrust commission. The purchase of Seagram, owner of the largest music company and the Universal film studio, and all of Canal Plus, Europe's No.
August 10, 2000 |
Merging media giants Vivendi, Canal Plus and Seagram will have to wait for regulatory scrutiny of their deal after the European Commission said on Wednesday that it needed more data for its review. The commission said it had suspended its probe into the competition aspects of the planned $34-billion deal while the companies provide it with additional unspecified data.
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.
July 7, 2000 |
The film production arm of Canal Plus, the European pay TV company that would oversee Universal Studios under parent Vivendi's plan to buy Seagram Co., revealed Thursday that it has quietly hatched a film production deal with talent manager Michael Ovitz for as many as 15 films over three years that may bypass Universal's distribution arm entirely.
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.
June 20, 2000 |
Canal Plus, Europe's leading pay-television service, is poised to become the proud owner of one of Hollywood's legendary studios. That is if, as expected, its parent company, Vivendi, can swing its planned $34-billion acquisition of Universal parent Seagram Co. After a decade of struggling for acceptance, Canal Plus would have the insider status in the American movie industry it has long wanted.
June 19, 2000 |
French conglomerate company Vivendi and its Canal Plus TV unit edged closer to an acquisition of famed Canadian liquor and entertainment company Seagram Co. for about $33 billion in stock. The companies said in a joint statement they hoped to formally announce a deal as soon as Tuesday. A union of the three companies would join Seagram's entertainment assets, which include Universal Pictures, with the growing telecommunications and Internet infrastructure being developed by Vivendi.
June 16, 2000 |
Shares in French communications and utility group Vivendi slumped again Thursday as concern grew about an expected three-way merger with Canal Plus and Seagram Co. Investors were increasingly uneasy over the hefty price tag for Seagram, which is said to be about $33 billion. According to the company, Seagram also has debt of $7 billion, which Vivendi will assume. "[Chairman] Jean-Marie Messier has eyes bigger than his stomach," one market-maker said. Vivendi's French shares fell 4.9% to 98.