Cash-strapped media giant Vivendi Universal on Tuesday banked with a sigh of relief a $1.28 billion (€1.22bn; £0.80bn) cheque for the sale of its US educational publishing unit Houghton Mifflin to an American private equity group led by Thomas H Lee and Bain Capital. In addition, the buyers assumed debt of around $388 million.

Vivendi’s brief ownership of Houghton (bought in 2001 by profligate former chief executive Jean-Marie Messier) has been costly in the extreme. The Paris-headquartered group is $540m down on the deal, Messier having shelled-out a cool $2.2bn for the US publisher.

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