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Vivendi Universal Company

BUSINESS
July 12, 2002 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
John Malone, the billionaire chairman of Liberty Media Corp., said he won't rule out bidding for some of the entertainment assets of Vivendi Universal, which is in turmoil after former Chief Executive Jean-Marie Messier last week resigned under pressure. Some investors say Barry Diller, head of Vivendi's U.S. television and film business, may buy all or part of the firm's U.S. assets. Other possible bidders include Malone.
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BUSINESS
March 6, 2002 | RICHARD VERRIER, copy editor/bayer ext.70798
Vivendi Universal on Tuesday reported an $11.8-billion loss for 2001, the largest in French corporate history, as it wrote down the costs of a string of acquisitions that built it into the world's second-largest media company. The loss contrasts with a net profit of $2 billion in 2000. In the last 18 months, Vivendi Chief Executive Jean-Marie Messier has turned a sewage disposal and water company into a rival of AOL Time Warner Inc. by acquiring Universal and European cable TV giant Canal Plus.
BUSINESS
October 18, 2002 | Richard Verrier
Vivendi Universal's long-suffering investors rallied behind the company's stock after the Paris conglomerate received a $6.7-billion offer from Britain's Vodafone for its 44% stake in French telecom operator Cegetel. Vivendi shares rose $1.39, or 11%, to $14.55 on the NYSE. Meanwhile, Standard & Poor's removed a credit watch on Vivendi's short-term credit rating. The firm cited financing Vivendi recently got.
BUSINESS
October 30, 2002 | Richard Verrier, Times Staff Writer
The Paris prosecutor's office has launched a criminal probe into whether media giant Vivendi Universal misled investors by falsifying financial results during the last two years. The prosecutor's office said that the preliminary inquiry will examine whether Vivendi published "false accounts" for 2000 and 2001 to conceal its financial crisis, which came to a head this summer when the world's second-largest media company nearly ran out of cash.
BUSINESS
September 18, 2002 | CORIE BROWN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The future of one of the world's biggest entertainment companies is being held up by one man--and he seems in no hurry to let it move forward. Barry Diller, long known as one of Hollywood's shrewdest executives, has emerged as the key to what shape Vivendi Universal's entertainment operation will take in the months ahead, according to sources close to the company and Diller.
BUSINESS
May 2, 2002 | RICHARD VERRIER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In the latest setback for Vivendi Universal CEO Jean-Marie Messier, Vivendi has disclosed that the company may incur an off-balance-sheet charge of up to $1.1 billion as the result of a complex financing arrangement. Vivendi said this week that it committed in 2001 to buy back 19.7 million of its own shares at prices between $54 and $73 as part of a plan to raise money to pay for management stock options. The buyback would cost it $634 million to $1.
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
February 12, 2002 | Bloomberg News
Vivendi Universal, Europe's largest media and entertainment company, said fourth-quarter sales advanced 9%, helped by movies such as "Spy Game" and gains at its phone business in France. Paris-based Vivendi's media sales rose to 8.4 billion euros ($7.4 billion) from 7.7 billion euros a year earlier, Bloomberg shows. It stuck with a forecast for more than 10% sales growth in 2002, said spokesman Alain Delrieu.
BUSINESS
April 29, 2002 | From Bloomberg News
Vivendi Universal, the world's second-largest media company, said Sunday it will seek criminal charges against hackers who allegedly tampered with electronic votes at the company's shareholder assembly last week. Vivendi plans to convene a new meeting to allow shareholders to vote again after suspecting fraud at Wednesday's assembly. The company has called for a board meeting today to set a new date in early June, Vivendi said.
BUSINESS
November 23, 2002 | Sallie Hofmeister, Times Staff Writer
Can a single executive run two multibillion-dollar media companies at the same time? That is the question being raised by oil tycoon Marvin Davis as he tries to curry favor for his unsolicited $13-billion bid for Vivendi Universal's U.S. entertainment group. As part of their sales pitch, Davis representatives contend that the entertainment group, which includes Universal studios, cable channels, the world's largest recording company and theme parks, deserves a full-time chief executive.
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