Vivendi's Lévy Maintains Dual Business Strategy

24 April 2006

Vivendi Universal will keep its interests both in telecoms and media, ceo Jean-Bernard Lévy has pledged.

The Paris-headquartered group, which owns TV station Canal Plus and controls French cellphone operator SFR, is downplaying speculation that the company could be under shareholder pressure to concentrate on one sector.

Speaking at the annual meeting last week, Lévy told shareholders that increasing demand for services such as mobile TV was a persuasive argument for maintaining a dual presence and would allow the company to make large, long-term investments.

Vivendi, which reported a 5.7% first quarter increase in sales to €4.76 billion ($5.86bn; £3.29bn), has been watching closely the emergence of the Sebastian Holdings fund on its share register.

The fund, which has built a 1.19% stake in the conglomerate, contributed in no small measure to the downfall of Alain de Pouzilhac, erstwhile chairman/ceo of advertising holding group Havas [WAMN: 23-Jun-05].

It has been mooted that Sebastian could put pressure on the Vivendi board to sell off the businesses in one or other sector.

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