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CANADA'S LOONY
FOR VIVENDI-SEAGRAM

Gives Maple Leaf Seal Of Approval To Deal, Cracks Open A Molson's, Eh, To Celebrate
French media group Vivendi said it has received final clearance from Canadian authorities to proceed with its $23.5 billion merger with Canadian entertainment conglom Seagram. The Vivendi-Universal pairing got the go-ahead from the European Commission last week (see hitsdailydouble.com, 10/13) after Vivendi agreed to sell off its 20% stake in British pay TV operator BSkyB. The coupling, which includes pay TV company Canal Plus, has also received the blessings of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Canada's competition watchdog committee.

Originally valued at $34 billion when the deal was first announced last June, the combined company is now estimated to be worth $23.5 billion due to a drop in Vivendi's stock price and a fall-off in the euro/dollar rate. Vivendi Chairman Jean-Marie Messier expects the merger to be completed by the end of the year.

The only remaining hurdle is a vote by shareholders of the two companies in December. The nomination of Jerry Lewis to head the combined organizations will take place at that time, after which everyone will attend a screening of "Cinderfella" and receive their dividends in beaver pelts. Eh, what?

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Adele; Adele Adele?
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A... dele?
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Adele Adele; Adele.
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(Adele.)
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