Vivendi to Offload US Entertainment Assets?

23 September 2002

Cash-strapped Vivendi Universal may partially demerge its US entertainment assets as part of its far-reaching disposal plan.

Executives at Vivendi Universal Entertainment - a Vivendi-controlled venture formed when the French group purchased the TV and film assets of USA Networks late last year – are said to be pushing for the business to be separated from the parent group.

VUE chairman and former USA Networks boss Barry Diller is certainly not ruling out this proposal. “Of the options that Vivendi Universal chooses,” he said, “certainly one is to create a stand-alone [entertainment business] by reducing its stake or by other means so the entertainment assets can profitably grow.”

Vivendi’s board meets this week to approve its group-wide sale strategy. However, one obstacle it may face is that, under the terms of the USA Networks deal, Diller must approve any change in VUE’s structure.

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