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After Buying, Vivendi Sells

August 19

Suffering a titanic case of post-acquisition indigestion, French media conglomerate Vivendi is beginning to disgorge, driven by banks demanding a return of their nearly $19 billion in debt.

Now rumored to be added to its divestment list are the company's Universal film, music and TV production facilities. Last week the company announced its intention to sell educational book publisher Houghton Mifflin and satellite TV operator EchoStar. The properties listed for sale so far are expected to raise only about $10 billion, prompting analysts to speculate that additional sales not yet announced may follow.

We expect to see more such divestments by various media and IT players following on the heels of poorly-conceived and expensive acquisitions, many of them executed in the late Nineties.

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