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