Vivendi Universal to exit water business
Reuters, 11.07.02, 1:19 PM ET
PARIS, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Vivendi Universal signalled a pull-out from its historic water
business on Thursday, lining up the sale of half its 40 percent stake in Vivendi
Environnement and paving the way for a full retreat once options are exercised.
The deal raises Vivendi's end-2002 asset sale target to seven billion euros from five
billion euros and provides crucial cash as Vivendi tries to pull together a four billion
euro bid to prevent Vodafone taking over its French phone assets.
Vivendi said in a statement it had also finalised a deal to sell its U.S. book division
Houghton Mifflin for 1.7 billion euros.
Sources close to the deal said earlier that Vivendi was in very advanced talks to sell
part of its Environnement stake and could cancel part of its credit lines.
Copyright 2002, Reuters News Service