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VIVENDI MACHINE IN OPERATION
Canal + Stockholders Approve Vivendi Universal Merger; Stock Starts Trading Monday
Canal Plus (or Canal +, if you prefer) shareholders formally approved Vivendi's $9 billion acquisition of the pay-TV company today, finalizing a three-way merger with Seagram and Vivendi. Shareholders will receive two Vivendi Universal shares for each share of Canal Plus they own. They'll also receive a color folder and a nice ballpoint pen.

Vivendi Universal will start trading in Paris and New York on Monday.

Today's vote in Paris follows approval votes on Tuesday (12/5) by Seagram and Vivendi shareholders. Vivendi is paying $30.2 billion for Seagram. With the acquisition of Canal Plus, Vivendi Universal's media holdings are a trifecta of film, music and television, including 14 million European pay-TV subscribers, Universal Studios and Universal Music. They also own some bitchin' water-treatment and waste-management operations.

French regulators required that Vivendi give control of Canal Plus' French subscribers to Canal Plus Programmes, which is only 49% Vivendi-owned. Canadian regulators approved the merger as well. The Federal Trade Commission did not have to approve the deal because those sneaky Frenchmen are, well, French and thus don't need our approval.

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