Veteran Exec François Ivernel Exits Pathé To Launch Production Company
Pathé said today that veteran top executive François Ivernel has resigned to launch Montebello Productions, a London-based film-production company that will open June 3. He most recently held several titles within the French company, serving as chairman of the board and managing director of Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé, deputy managing director of Pathé, as a member of its executive board and as president of Pathe U.K. Ivernel’s executive producer credits include the Best Picture Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire and Palme d’Or-winning The Wind That Shakes The Barley.
Vivendi Agrees To Mediation With Lagardere Over Canal Plus France
Vivendi agreed Friday that a mediator should decide its legal spat with Lagardere over their pay-TV venture Canal Plus France. Lagardere had said in February it was suing Vivendi for 1.6 billion euros ($2 billion). Reuters reports that the media group wants Vivendi to return the sum to Canal+ France because it claims Vivendi – which owns 80% of the venture — is making permanent use of the business’s entire cash surplus under a disputed cash management agreement between the venture and its Vivendi-owned parent. Vivendi has in turn accused Lagardere of trying to destabilize it and force it to buy back Lagardere’s 20 percent stake in Canal+ France, a move Vivendi.
A group of private equity firms may bid against DirecTV to acquire GVT, the Brazilian broadband unit of Canal Plus owner Vivendi. The firms include KKR, Apax Partners, JPMorgan Chase’s Gavea Investments and Cambuhy Investimentos, Bloomberg reports. The consortium would be willing to pay about 5B euros ($6.78B), starkly lower than Vivendi’s 8B euro ($10.85B) asking price. But DirecTV may get closer to the ask, as it eyes increased demand for pay-TV and Internet service in Latin America and with growth subsiding in the U.S., Bloomberg sources said. “I see it as a nice-to-have, not a must-have,” DirecTV CEO Mike White said earlier this month. “There are synergies, but it’s still a work in process, and I can’t yet tell you whether the synergies are big enough for me to get comfortable that they can more than offset the premium. All that depends on the price.” DirecTV, Liberty Global, America Movil and Read More »
A federal judge has awarded Liberty Media a $999 million judgment against Vivendi in a lawsuit decided by a jury in June 2012, Bloomberg reports. The jury had agreed that Vivendi inflated the value of shares … Read More »
Satellite company DirecTV, John Malone’s Liberty Global, Carlos Slim’s America Movil and a group of private equity funds have entered non-binding bids to acquire GVT, the Brazilian broadband unit of French conglom Vivendi. The offers are … Read More »
Vivendi Chief Financial Officer Philippe Capron told an earnings analyst conference today: “Clearly a breakup would lead to very great difficulty in apportioning of the debt. We don’t see how to keep quality ratings on both sides. A straight break … Read More »
French media conglomerate Vivendi is stepping up a strategic review of its businesses as it decides whether to sell or spin off some of its assets. Chairman Jean-René Fourtou has appointed executives to help reassess the company’s structure … Read More »
Jean-Bernard Levy joined Vivendi in 2002 and became chief executive in 2005. Since then, he’s run a conglomerate that owns the world’s biggest music company in Universal Music Group, European TV giant Canal Plus, and 61% of video game … Read More »
A New York jury awarded Liberty Media more than $956M, finding that Vivendi Universal misled John Malone’s company about the value of Vivendi shares in 2002 when it bought Liberty’s stake in USA Networks. Liberty … Read More »
Canal Plus Eyes Vincent Bollore’s Channels In Free TV Push
Vivendi’s Canal Plus said today it is working to take a majority stake in channels owned by French billionaire Vincent Bollore, as part of a push into free TV. Its proposed deal would give Canal Plus 60% of Direct 8 and music-focused Direct Star in exchange for Vivendi shares. Canal Plus has an option to buy the remainder within the next three years, its head Bertrand Meheut told French daily Les Echos. The deal, subject to approval by the government and employee reps, values the Bollore assets at about $650M. Canal Plus wants to defend itself against new players in France such as Netflix, Google and Apple.
WB’s ‘Great Gatsby’ Adds Indian Icon Amitabh Bachchan
Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan is making his Hollywood debut in Warner Bros’ new adaptation of The Great Gatsby. He’ll play Meyer Wolfsheim, a Jewish man described as a gambler in F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel. The $126M film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Baz Luhrmann, has begun shooting in Australia. Bachchan, 68, has acted in more than 180 Indian films over a 40-year period. He remains Indian’s most popular actor and recently returned as the celebrity host of the Indian version of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire. Read More »
Vivendi announced today that the current CEO of UMG will add chairman to his title at the world’s biggest music company, which has operations in 77 countries. He will remain on Vivendi’s board of directors and was added to the board at the French conglomerate’s vidgame publisher Activision Blizzard, which is based in Santa … Read More »
Vivendi has officially divested itself from NBC Universal, selling the remaining portion of its 20% stake in the company back to General Electric before the merger with Comcast is officially complete on Friday. The price: Vivendi received a total of $5.8 billion for the 20% stake. In a statement, Vivendi CEO … Read More »
Former Vivendi Universal executives Edgar Bronfman, Jr. and Jean-Marie Messier have been found guilty in Paris of criminal charges relating to misleading investors and insider trading. Ending a trial that began in June 2009, Bronfman, who at the time was Vivendi’s vice-chairman … Read More »
French publisher Lagardere has begun the process of selling its 20% share of the pay-TV group Canal Plus now that talks with 80% owner Vivendi have broken down. Vivendi was not going to pay the €1.4 billion ($1.8 billion) Lagardere wanted. … Read More »