February 6, 2004 |
Vivendi Universal, which is selling its Hollywood studios and cable networks to General Electric Co.'s NBC, said fourth-quarter revenue fell 9% to $9.08 billion as music sales declined and the dollar weakened. Revenue at Universal Music Group fell 19% to $2.1 billion. The unit suffered from a 17% decline of the dollar against the euro in 2003 and "difficult music market conditions." Revenue at Vivendi Universal Entertainment declined 4% to $2.2 billion, hurt by the declining dollar.
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 13, 2004 |
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.
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.
December 24, 2003 |
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.
December 23, 2003 |
Vivendi Universal is in talks with the Securities and Exchange Commission in hopes of reaching a last-minute settlement in its 18-month probe into the French entertainment and telecom giant, a source familiar with the discussions said Monday. The SEC, which is investigating possible breaches of accounting law by Vivendi while Jean-Marie Messier was chief executive, obtained a court order on Sept. 24 to freeze Messier's $23-million severance payment for 90 days while it completes the probe.
December 3, 2003 |
French media and telecommunications company Vivendi Universal swung to a profit in the third quarter but warned that its end-of-year performance would not be as strong. Vivendi reported Tuesday that it earned $157 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, contrasted with a loss of $1.5 billion a year earlier. The return to profitability was because of strong performances by Vivendi's pay-TV unit Canal Plus and its Moroccan telecommunication business, the company said.
November 12, 2003 |
Vivendi Universal would buy DreamWorks SKG's recorded-music division and continue to distribute the entertainment firm's films until 2010 under new pacts announced Tuesday. Vivendi, which would pay an estimated $100 million for DreamWorks Records, plans to place the label under its Universal Music Group. The deal, the outlines of which were reported more than a week ago, signals DreamWorks' abandonment of a costly effort to build a competitive label from scratch.
November 7, 2003 |
Barry Diller, who controls Web-commerce company InterActiveCorp, said he would be "happy" to retain his $2.5-billion stake in Vivendi Universal's U.S. media unit now that General Electric Co.'s NBC unit is buying the entertainment business. Diller, during a conference call Wednesday with investors, said that although New York-based InterActiveCorp would consider selling "if we're presented with an alternative that's better for us," there have been no discussions about unloading the shares.
November 4, 2003 |
Vivendi Universal, the world's fifth-largest media company, must defend a lawsuit accusing the company and former Chief Executive Jean-Marie Messier of defrauding investors, a judge ruled. U.S. District Judge Harold Baer in Manhattan said in a 40-page opinion that investors had made enough allegations to sustain their securities fraud suit.