Quantcast
The company said it "intends to maintain and develop its business operations in the U.S., but wishes to reduce financial costs."

VIVENDI UNIVERSAL SET TO DELIST AT NYSE

French Media Giant Wants to Withdraw from Stock Exchange
The French are ready to retreat again... this time from Wall Street.

Gallic conglom Vivendi Universal has announced plans to end its U.S. listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Vivendi, the owner of Universal Music Group along with French pay-TV provider Canal Plus, wireless operstaor SFR and an 18.5% shareholder in NBC Universal, said it plans to terminate its American Deposiroty Receipt program, delisting it from the NYSE.

The company also noted that ADS trading volume has declined since 2001 and accounted for less than 5% of the total shares traded in 2004 and 2005, though the percentage of the Paris-listed ordinary shares held by U.S. investors has increased significantly.

Several European companies have delisted shares from the U.S. in recent years, balking at the expense of retaining dual listings.

Under new chief Jene-Rene Fourtou, Vivendi is enjoying a revival in earnings after skirting financial collapse about four years ago in the wake of former Chief Executive Jean Marie Messier's drive to turn the company into a global media group from a water utility. His tenure ended in controversy and soured the company's image in the U.S.

In December 2003, Vivendi paid $50 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission allegations that Vivendi and Messier manipulated the financial statements and issued misleading statements on the company.

As part of the settlement, Messier relinquished his claims to a $25 million severance package negotiated prior to his resignation in 2002.

U.S. investors remain an important part of Vivendi's investor base, and since Messier's departure, new management has pushed through a restructuring, selling off several non-core assets to lower debt and boost earnings.

The company said it "intends to maintain and develop its business operations in the U.S., but wishes to reduce financial costs."

If Vivendi gains the necessary approval from ADR holders, it will implement the delisting by the end of the second quarter.

ABN Amro Tuesday upgraded Vivendi shares to buy from hold. Following three years of restructuring, the group is now a "much cleaner and transparent company," with significant potential earnings and valuation upgrades, the bank said.

On today's stock market, Vivendi is listed at 31.02 per share, at 1:45 p.m. Eastern time.

REVENUE CHART:
RAINING CATS & DOGS
Starring Doja Cat, Nipper and Ms. Larry David (5/13a)
RECORDING ACADEMY LOCKS IN HARVEY MASON JR. AS CEO
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. (5/14a)
TIME TRAVELING
WITH CLIVE (UPDATE)
Beam us up, Uncle Clive. (5/13a)
ROCK HALL INDUCTEES:
NEW & OVERDUE
Todd gets in. Finally. (5/13a)
KG's HOT ALT SUMMER
She also reviews the best outdoor Bluetooth speakers. (5/13a)
RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
WHO'S NEXT?
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)