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Vivendi Universal Company

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BUSINESS
July 18, 2002 | Richard Verrier
In a move to restore investor confidence in Vivendi Universal, the company's new management team has named a respected French TV executive as its new chief financial officer. Jacques Espinasse, chief operating officer at French satellite TV consortium TPS, faces a daunting task as Vivendi copes with a cash crunch and an investigation by French regulators into its financial communications with investors.
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BUSINESS
June 16, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Vivendi's Universal Music Group said Friday that it had agreed to buy Sanctuary Group for $88 million to add merchandising and management of artists including Elton John. Universal Music's Centenary Music Holdings Ltd. will pay about 39 cents a share in cash for Sanctuary. That's 13% more than Thursday's closing price for London-based Sanctuary. The deal broadens Universal Music's scope, adding merchandising, artist management and talent businesses, as the company looks for new revenue streams.
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BUSINESS
July 2, 2002 | SALLIE HOFMEISTER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
With the imminent departure of Vivendi Universal's chairman, Jean-Marie Messier, the big question in Hollywood is what becomes of the U.S. entertainment holdings bought by the French water giant during the last two years. The answer: They could be put up for sale or spun off, creating even more anxiety for entertainment divisions that have been riven by turmoil for nearly a decade because of management upheaval under three separate owners.
BUSINESS
September 8, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Media and telecom conglomerate Vivendi said Thursday that its second-quarter profit rose 53%, boosted by the settlement of tax litigation and strong performances from its video-game and pay-TV arms. The French company reported earnings of 1.16 billion euros ($1.48 billion) for the April-June period. The company said its bottom line was inflated by a one-time gain related to the June settlement of litigation against U.S.
BUSINESS
July 2, 2002 | RICHARD VERRIER and ANITA M. BUSCH, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Vivendi Universal Chief Executive Jean-Marie Messier, who stormed Hollywood two years ago with grand plans to turn a sleepy French water utility into a global media powerhouse only to watch his empire suffer record losses, has succumbed to a coup engineered by investors and board members.
BUSINESS
December 24, 2003 | Richard Verrier, Times Staff Writer
Vivendi Universal will pay a $50-million fine and former Chief Executive Jean-Marie Messier will relinquish a controversial $25-million severance package to settle charges that they misled investors about the media conglomerate's financial problems. Under a settlement reached with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Messier also will pay a $1-million fine and former Chief Financial Officer Guillaume Hannezo will be required to pay a $120,000 penalty and return $148,000.
BUSINESS
April 23, 2002 | RICHARD VERRIER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In the executive suite of Vivendi Universal's Paris headquarters Monday, Chairman Jean-Marie Messier and his staff were making the final arrangements for this week's crucial annual meeting. Across town at Vivendi's sprawling television facility, where anti-Messier graffiti lines the halls, workers also are making final preparations for the Wednesday meeting. But they are packing up leaflets and T-shirts emblazoned with messages such as "Messier Super Liar" and "Messier Go Away."
BUSINESS
September 16, 2003 | Richard Verrier, Times Staff Writer
After a 14-month probe, France's stock market regulator raised questions about Vivendi Universal's financial disclosures but found no evidence that the company committed fraud under former Chairman Jean- Marie Messier. La Commission des Operations de Bourse, France's equivalent of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has turned over an 81-page report on Vivendi to the Paris public prosecutor, which is conducting its own investigation into the French conglomerate. "No massive legal fraud ...
BUSINESS
December 12, 2001 | JAMES BATES and CLAUDIA ELLER, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
If Vivendi Universal acquires control of USA Networks Inc.'s entertainment assets and folds them into Universal Studios, Barry Diller would seemingly be the ideal candidate to run the operation. The problem is, the USA chief apparently wants nothing of it.
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
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
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
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
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
February 2, 2005 | From Bloomberg News
Vivendi Universal, owner of the world's largest music company, said fourth-quarter sales dropped 26% as the company sold its U.S. media assets and revenue declined at the Canal Plus pay-TV unit. Sales fell to 5.33 billion euros ($6.94 billion) from 7.22 billion euros a year earlier, Paris-based Vivendi said, in line with analysts' estimates. Excluding the effect of divestments, sales rose 4.7%. Vivendi sold its U.S. media assets to General Electric Co.
BUSINESS
December 8, 2004 | From Associated Press
French regulators fined Vivendi Universal and its former boss Jean-Marie Messier nearly $1.4 million each for deceiving investors with inaccurate financial communications. The Financial Market Authority's ruling cleared Messier of insider trading but found that he consistently misstated cash flow in 2001-02 and used false accounting to hide the true level of the media conglomerate's debt. Messier's lawyer said his client would appeal the fine.
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