Vivendi Moves to Staunch Canal Plus Losses

10 March 2003

French pay-TV company Canal Plus, a unit of troubled Vivendi Universal, is set to embark on a major restructuring that will dispose of several hundred jobs and non-core assets.

Newly appointed Canal Plus ceo Bertrand Méheut is to warn the company’s unions that drastic action is required to reverse annual losses of €325 million ($358.30m; £224.64m) and slash the group's €5bn debt. Says one insider: “We are in the process of streamlining the assets. We have too many people, too many legal entities and too much complexity.”

The restructuring and disposal programme has been endorsed by Vivendi but French labour laws require that the revamp (in particular its “social plan” ramifications) is also approved by union leaders.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff