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Vivendi Levy on UMG

TODAY’S READING ASSIGNMENT: Revealing profile of Jean-Bernard Lévy in U.K.’s Telegraph, as Vivendi’s gran fromage talks to interviewer Amanda Andrews about (among other things) the departure of Doug Morris and some of the most pressing issues on Lucian Grainge’s priority list. "We have started to implement a new round of cost optimization—centered mainly on the back office,” he says of one of Grainge’s biggest challenges. “There are various areas of the company that we are step-by-step putting in place,"  Asked if he can rely on Grainge to deliver cost savings and streamline the business, Lévy replies, "Lucian brings together the best of music industry understanding. He is a music guy and, at the same time, he's an excellent manager.” Lévy also acknowledges that he declined an approach from Goldman Sachs to make an offer or express interest in the first round of the Warner Music auction, while noting that Grainge will establish new methods of combining music and gaming, and that "We plan to launch Vevo in Europe soon." (3/14a)

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