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These results—marking the company’s expectations for first-quarter 2001 (July 1-September 30, 2000)—will be fueled by an estimated $50 million swing in Filmed Entertainment EBITDA, a 14% increase in Recreation EBITDA and an 11% increase in Music EBITDA.

SEAGRAM TOASTS Q1 ESTIMATES

Projected Earnings Up In Wine And Song Divisions; Trade In Women Stays Level

Maybe Edgar should give this Vivendi deal a little more thought.

Just a few months after Seagram's Q4 2000 EBITDA hit a record $217 million, Merrill Lynch issued a report anticipating Q1 2001 growth across all of the company's operating segments.

These results—marking the company's expectations for first-quarter 2001 (July 1-September 30, 2000)—will be fueled by an estimated $50 million swing in Filmed Entertainment EBITDA, a 14% increase in Recreation EBITDA and an 11% increase in Music EBITDA.

The report estimated EBITDA growth of 26% to $436 million vs. 1Q 2000's $352 million on projected revenue growth of 3% to $3.7 billion vs. $3.6 billion. Merrill Lynch also predicted Seagram 2001 EBITDA will rise $25 million from $2.16 billion to $2.18 billion, with a growth of 17% due to an increase in projected Spirits and Wine EBITDA to 763 million, representing 5% growth.

Seagram's Recorded Music holdings, the first music company ever to exceed $1 billion in EBITDA for a full year in 2000, is estimated to increase EBITDA 11% in Q1, from $205 million vs. $185 million last year. Because of the declining strength of the dollar, though, revenue will be off 1% to $1.4 billion.

Vivendi Universal will hold an investor meeting this week in Paris (10/12-13) and New York (10/17) to discuss strategic initiatives and the financial picture for the combined company. The merger is on track to close by the end of the year.

You can bet a six-pack of frosty wine coolers will be onhand to celebrate that.

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