October 29, 2002 |
Debt-heavy Vivendi Universal received welcome news Monday as it moved closer to selling off its U.S. publishing assets and won a legal ruling in the battle to control French telecom company, Cegetel. A French court granted the media group an additional month to consider its right to block a bid by cell phone giant Vodafone Group to buy out other Cegetel shareholders. Vodafone, which owns 15% of Cegetel, has offered to pay $12.
October 14, 2002 |
His business strategy has been debunked and his love of the spotlight lampooned. He has been ousted as head of the world's second-largest media company. His former employer has vowed not to pay him a dime in severance. And, to top it off, he and his family soon will have to give up a $17-million penthouse on Park Avenue. Most people would slink away in humiliation. Not Jean-Marie Messier, the fallen media king turned New York exile.
September 2, 2002 |
Vodafone Group may make an unsolicited cash offer for SFR, the French mobile phone company controlled by Vivendi Universal, by the end of the month, the Financial Times reported, without citing anyone. The offer may be about $12.4 billion, the paper cited unidentified analysts as saying. Vodafone would probably use a $10.65-billion unused bank facility to fund the purchase, the paper said. Vodafone, which last week agreed to buy Vivendi's stake in Vizzavi for $140.
February 24, 2004 |
Vivendi Universal said allegations by an association of small shareholders that minutes of a board meeting were falsified were "completely groundless" and "libelous." The group, called Appac, has filed a complaint claiming the company's senior management forged documents. "There are no inconsistencies or falsifications in the minutes or extracts of minutes," Vivendi said.
March 25, 2004 |
Vivendi Universal's suit to force media mogul Barry Diller to get out of the way of a deal with NBC will go to trial in Delaware Chancery Court in May, after a ruling from the judge overseeing the case. Vice Chancellor Stephen Lamb granted Vivendi's request to expedite the matter, which the company said must be resolved before its U.S. unit, which includes the movie and TV studios, could be bought by NBC.
January 24, 2004 |
Launching a surprising raid on the world's biggest record company, Edgar Bronfman Jr. is close to signing Vivendi Universal rap mogul Lyor Cohen to a top post at the newly constituted Warner Music Group, sources said Friday. The deal -- which is said to include an equity stake in Warner for Cohen -- could be announced as soon as this weekend.
January 1, 2004 |
General Electric Co.'s NBC unit said a second request for information by U.S. antitrust regulators about its planned purchase of Vivendi Universal's U.S. entertainment assets was part of a normal review process. NBC was responding to an article in USA Today that said the Federal Trade Commission was concerned that the combined company might boost fees paid by cable operators to license programming.
November 18, 2004 |
Vivendi Universal raised its 2004 earnings forecast after performances by its music and telecommunications units powered a more than fivefold increase in third-quarter profit. Net income was 776 million euros ($956.9 million), the French media and telecommunications group said, up from 131 million euros a year ago. Revenue fell to 4.70 billion euros ($5.8 billion) from 5.90 billion euros in part because of the sale of its U.S. entertainment businesses to General Electric Co.
September 15, 2004 |
Vivendi Universal's recovery is almost complete, the French media and telecommunications giant said, despite a massive second-quarter net loss bloated by the effects of the weaker U.S. dollar. Two years after an ill-fated acquisition spree took it close to collapse, Vivendi unveiled sharply improved second-quarter operating profit at its music and pay TV divisions as they emerge from restructuring. But Vivendi's net loss increased more than sevenfold to $2.26 billion in the April-to-June period.