Advanced Television

Vivendi: No Universal, Canal+ sale

November 14, 2011

By Colin Mann

French international media conglomerate Vivendi has dismissed rumours that it is considering the sale of its Universal Music division after its £1.2 billion (€1.4bn) acquisition of EMI’s recorded music division, and has confirmed its commitment to its telco and content assets.

“We haven’t grown Universal Music with two major transactions [its takeover of Bertelsmann’s music publishing division in 2006 and the EMI bid announced on Friday] just to spin it off,” said Jean-Bernard Lévy, Vivendi’s chief executive, according to the FT.

In announcing the acquisition November 11, Vivendi said it would finance the transaction from its existing credit lines, and that concurrently, Vivendi and Universal Music Group would also sell €500 million worth of non-core UMG assets.

Vivendi remained committed to owning both telecoms operators, such as SFR in France and GVT in Brazil, and entertainment assets, including Activision video games and the Canal+ pay-television platform, said Lévy. “We are determined to stay at the same time a content and a platform company,” he added. “It is a good differentiator.”

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