Vivendi Stock Drops on Canal Plus Reports

24 July 2002

Investors did not take kindly to recent reports that Vivendi Universal is planning to break up its Canal Plus Group unit [WAMN: 23-Jul-02], sending the media mammoth’s shares tumbling almost 7% on Monday.

The money-men had been hoping Vivendi would dispose of the division as a whole to help ease its financial woes.

Instead, new Vivendi boss Jean-René Fourtou is reportedly planning to put the core French assets of Canal Plus into a new company that will be partially floated on the Parisian bourse.

Included in this listed firm would be French TV station Canal Plus, satellite-television operator CanalSatellite and cable channel group Multithematiques. Vivendi would keep a controlling stake.

The rest of the group would be put up for sale unit-by-unit. This auction would include Canal Plus units in Poland, Spain, Scandinavia, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, as well as film division Studio Canal, website firm CanalNumedia, cable operator Numericable, set-top box maker Canal Plus Technologies and the group’s 40% stake in cinema chain UGC.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff