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Vivendi Universal

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BUSINESS
January 13, 2004 | From Bloomberg News
Vivendi Universal said it had named Rene Penisson, a former executive at French chemicals maker Aventis, chairman of its games unit as it focused on expanding the business "aggressively." The Paris-based media firm also appointed Bruce Hack, the vice chairman of its music business, Universal Music Group, chief executive of Vivendi Universal Games.
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BUSINESS
October 3, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Edgar Bronfman Jr., who sold Seagram Co. to Vivendi for $34 billion in 2000, agreed to settle his lawsuit against the French company over his pension. Bronfman, now the chairman and chief executive of Warner Music Group Corp., sued Vivendi in April, saying the company credited him for only 20 years of service and ignored 15 for which he is entitled. "We are pleased to report that we have reached a settlement," his lawyer, Charles Michael, said Tuesday in a letter to U.S.
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BUSINESS
May 20, 2005 | From Associated Press
Vivendi Universal, one of Europe's biggest media companies, said its first-quarter earnings tripled, helped by a turnaround in its music and video game business. Net income jumped to 502 million euros ($634 million) from 166 million euros a year earlier, topping most analysts' forecasts. The results underscore a dramatic turnaround at Paris-based Vivendi, which came close to collapse three years ago. Since then, Chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou has sold off businesses to lower debt and lift earnings.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2006 | From Associated Press
Media and telecom company Vivendi Universal reported a drop in fourth-quarter and full-year earnings because of one-time gains a year earlier, but it saw solid performances by its video games and music divisions. The French company said fourth-quarter profit fell to 1.25 billion euros ($1.48 billion) from 1.92 billion euros, and annual earnings dropped to 3.15 billion euros from 3.77 billion euros. Vivendi had 1.52 billion euros in gains from asset disposals a year earlier.
BUSINESS
June 7, 2001 | Bloomberg News
Vivendi Universal, Europe's largest advertising company, said it sold its 9.9% stake in Havas Advertising to institutional investors for 453 million euros ($384 million). The company said the sale would generate a one-time profit of 113 million euros. Vivendi Universal sold its stake in the No. 5 advertising company to help fund its $2.2-billion acquisition of Houghton Mifflin Co.
BUSINESS
March 15, 2001 | From Bloomberg News
Vivendi Universal, the world's No. 2 media company by market value, said Bertelsmann Chief Executive Thomas Middelhoff resigned from its board of directors. Middelhoff cited conflicts of interest between the two entertainment companies as the reason for his departure. "It was an uncomfortable situation, as they're competitors in music and publishing," said Eric Burkel, an analyst with Global Equities, who has a "buy" rating on Vivendi Universal shares.
BUSINESS
June 6, 2002 | Reuters
Vivendi Universal chief Jean-Marie Messier won a bonus worth 250% of his salary last year, pushing his pay package close to $5 million, even though the Paris-based media group posted the biggest net loss in French corporate history. Messier received total compensation of $4.
BUSINESS
May 15, 2002 | Reuters
Vivendi Universal sold its remaining stake of 14% in British Sky Broadcasting Group in a deal worth $2.5billion. A source close to the sale said that the deal to sell the stake in BSkyB was designed to alleviate the pressure on Vivendi credit rating. "It's clear Vivendi has chosen now to sell the stake because they received a credit downgrade recently," the source said.
BUSINESS
October 31, 2001 | RICHARD VERRIER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Brushing off the bleak economy that has squeezed its peers, Vivendi Universal posted a 30% jump in cash flow in the third quarter. Vivendi cited box-office successes from Universal Pictures hit movies "Jurassic Park III" and "American Pie 2," solid results in the music division and the resiliency of its global businesses. The Paris-based conglomerate posted operating earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization--a key measure of financial performance for media companies--of $1.
BUSINESS
July 31, 2003 | Richard Verrier and Meg James, Times Staff Writers
As talks between Vivendi Universal and NBC intensify, analysts are sketching out a rough draft of the proposed joint entertainment venture, one that would become an industry heavyweight overnight. NBC, owned by General Electric Co., has emerged as a leading contender in the pursuit of Universal's movie studio, theme parks and television businesses. The network, along with Liberty Media Corp., got a leg up this week when one of the top bidders, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
BUSINESS
February 3, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
Vivendi Universal agreed to pay Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. $1.15 billion to gain full ownership of Universal Music Group and raise its stake in NBC Universal. Vivendi will buy Matsushita's 7.66% stake in a holding company that owns Universal Music and 20% of NBC Universal.
BUSINESS
November 18, 2005 | From Bloomberg News
Vivendi Universal, owner of the world's largest record company, reported better-than-expected third-quarter profit as earnings improved at the pay-television and music divisions. Net income fell 35% to 647 million euros ($755 million) as Vivendi didn't repeat the tax gain that helped lift profit to 1 billion euros a year earlier. Third-quarter profit had been expected to drop to 585 million euros. Third-quarter sales rose 12% to 4.87 billion euros.
BUSINESS
September 14, 2005 | From Bloomberg News
Vivendi Universal said Tuesday that second-quarter net income rose 12% as it cut costs in the music and video game units. Net income rose to 758 million euros ($932 million), or 66 cents a share, from 678 million euros, or 59 cents, a year earlier, Vivendi said. The Paris-based company said it would beat its forecast for 2005 earnings, excluding some costs, of at least 1.8 billion euros.
BUSINESS
June 30, 2005 | From Bloomberg News
Vivendi Universal, owner of the world's largest record company, said it received subpoenas from New York Atty. Gen. Eliot Spitzer in connection with an investigation of record company promotional practices. Vivendi's Universal Music is cooperating, the company said in a regulatory filing. The music group received subpoenas in September, November and March as well as several other requests for information related to its radio promotion practices, according to the filing.
BUSINESS
May 20, 2005 | From Associated Press
Vivendi Universal, one of Europe's biggest media companies, said its first-quarter earnings tripled, helped by a turnaround in its music and video game business. Net income jumped to 502 million euros ($634 million) from 166 million euros a year earlier, topping most analysts' forecasts. The results underscore a dramatic turnaround at Paris-based Vivendi, which came close to collapse three years ago. Since then, Chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou has sold off businesses to lower debt and lift earnings.
BUSINESS
April 13, 2005 | From Associated Press
A French appellate court Tuesday rejected an effort by French singing star Johnny Hallyday to recover the master tapes of his recordings from Universal Music Group. The ruling marked a victory for the record label, which had argued that restitution to Hallyday would set a dangerous precedent in the music industry. France has closely followed the legal battle by Hallyday, 61, who broke off his contract with the label in January 2004.
BUSINESS
April 30, 2002 | JAD MOUAWAD, BLOOMBERG NEWS
Vivendi Universal, the world's second-largest media company, had a record loss in the first quarter as it reduced the value of acquisitions including Seagram Co. and Canal Plus. The loss widened to $15.37 billion, or $14.93 a share, from $165 million, or 18 cents, a year earlier, Vivendi spokeswoman Anita Larsen said. The company, which reported under generally accepted U.S. accounting principles for the first time, took $15.4 billion of write-downs in the first quarter.
BUSINESS
December 2, 2002 | Richard Verrier, Times Staff Writer
Vivendi Universal's ousted chairman, Jean-Marie Messier, is marshaling an elaborate response to allegations that he built the company into a global media behemoth by bamboozling investors and even his own board members. At the center of criminal and civil probes in the U.S.
BUSINESS
March 11, 2005 | From Associated Press
Vivendi Universal posted a better-than-expected 2004 profit and said it would pay shareholders a dividend for the first time in three years. The French telecom and media conglomerate said it earned 1.86 billion euros ($2.48 billion) in the fourth quarter, contrasted with a loss of 642 million euros the year before. The profit was in large part the result of 1.52 billion euros in financial gains from asset disposals and an absence of charges from the year before.
BUSINESS
June 22, 2004 | Alex Pham, Times Staff Writer
Vivendi Universal Games on Monday laid off 350 employees, or nearly 30% of its workforce in North America, as the publisher of the popular "Crash Bandicoot" and "Warcraft" series slashed costs amid falling sales. "Restructuring the organization and reducing our cost base are necessary to improve our operating effectiveness and profitability," said Bruce Hack, chief executive of Los Angeles-based VUG, a subsidiary of French entertainment company Vivendi Universal.
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