Global Showbiz Briefs: Danny Trejo & Mischa Barton Star In Italian Crime Thriller ‘Hope Lost’; Liberty Global Completes Acquisition Of Chile’s Leading Cabler; More

By | Friday March 14, 2014 @ 10:00pm PDT

Danny Trejo, Mischa Barton, Michael Madsen Star In AMBI’s ‘Hope Lost’
Danny TrejoMischa Barton 1Danny Trejo, Mischa Barton, Michael Madsen and Daniel Baldwin are set to star in Hope Lost, a crime thriller from Italy’s AMBI Pictures. … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Anurag Kashyap Petitioning India’s High Court Over Anti-Smoking Disclaimer; Berlin’s Zoo Palast Reopening; More

By | Tuesday November 26, 2013 @ 10:00pm PST

Anurag Kashyap To Petition India’s High Court Over Anti-Smoking Disclaimer
Indian director Anurag Kashyap is reportedly filing a petition with the High Court of Mumbai against the local censor board after it sought to have the filmmaker insert a government-mandated anti-smoking warning into his drama Ugly. The movie, which debuted in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, is set for release on January 3 in its home territory. The Bollywood Hungama blog says Kashyap contends the disclaimers, which would appear when anyone lights up on screen, restrain filmmakers’ rights to freedom of speech and expression. Per the blog, Kashyap claims the warning also destroys the aesthetic value of a film and distracts the audience. India’s censors cracked down on smoking last year, and last month Woody Allen pulled his Blue Jasmine from release in India over the disclaimers.

Berlin’s Historic Zoo Palast Reopening After Renovation
Berlin’s Zoo Palast cinema is to reopen on Thursday after a major renovation. AFP reports that the former Cold War-era theater will have seating for 1,650 moviegoers in seven screening rooms. The theater originally opened in 1919 as the Ufa-Palast am Zoo and was the largest cinema in Germany until 1929. It was a major location for film premieres, including Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph Of The Will under the Nazis in 1935. It was destroyed in a 1943 Allied bombing raid and replaced in 1957 by the Zoo Palast. The recent three-year restoration cost €7.4M ($10.1M), according to AFP. The Zoo Palast also was part of the Berlin International Film Festival until 1999 when the fest moved its center of activity to Potsdamer Platz. Read More »

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Vivendi Agrees To Pay $1.4B For Lagardère Stake In Canal Plus France

By | Monday October 28, 2013 @ 1:34pm PDT

It’s a big day for $1B+ overseas TV deals. French conglomerate Vivendi has agreed to pay €1.02B ($1.4B) in cash for media group Lagardère’s 20% holding in Canal Plus France. This will give Vivendi … Read More »

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Vivendi Mulls Split Of Media And Telecoms Businesses

By | Thursday September 12, 2013 @ 3:56am PDT

Taking a page from News Corp’s book, French conglomerate Vivendi is moving closer to splitting itself into two separate companies. Canal Plus and Universal Music Group owner Vivendi says it is launching a study … Read More »

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Activision Blizzard Shares Popping After $8B-Plus Deal To Split From Vivendi

By | Friday July 26, 2013 @ 9:38am PDT

The current 14% gain for Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard so far in Nasdaq trading today comes hours after parent company Vivendi announced a $8.17 billion deal to sell back the majority of the video game giant to a … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Venice Days Lineup; ‘Alan Partridge’ Tour; Vivendi Asset Sale

‘Kill Your Darlings’ Gets Venice Days Berth
The Venice Film Festival‘s parallel Venice Days section unveiled its lineup today with 12 films in official selection. All feature debuts in the sidebar are eligible for the festival’s Lion of the Future prize while all the European films will compete for the Europa Cinemas Label. The Venice Days Association organizes the event with support from the Culture Ministry in collaboration with the Venice Biennale. Venice Days is collaborating for the first time this year with the Tribeca Film Festival to bring an American film, in this case Lennie Cooke, to the Lido for its international premiere. Conversely, Venice Days will send a film to Tribeca next year. The 12 official competition titles are: Alienation by Milko Lazarov; La Belle Vie by Jean Denizot; Bethlehem by Yuval Adler; Gerontophilia by Bruce LaBruce; Kill Your Darlings by John Krokidas; Nobody’s Home by Deniz Akçay Katıksız; May In The Summer by Cherien Dabis; La Mia Classe by Daniele Gaglianone; La Reconstruccion by Juan Taratugo; Rigor Mortis by Juno Mak; Siddharth by Richie Mehta and Traitors by Sean Gullette. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: François Ivernel Exits Pathé; Canal Plus France Legal Battle Will Go To Mediation

By | Friday May 31, 2013 @ 9:00pm PDT

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 … Read More »

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Consortium May Rival DirecTV Bid For Vivendi’s Brazilian Broadband Unit: Report

By | Thursday January 31, 2013 @ 2:55am PST

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 »

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Liberty Wins Nearly $1B In Dispute With Vivendi Over USA Network Stake: Report

By | Thursday January 10, 2013 @ 12:18am PST

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 »

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DirecTV, Liberty Global Among Bidders For Vivendi’s Brazilian Broadband Unit: Report

By | Thursday November 29, 2012 @ 2:28am PST

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 »

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Slumping Vivendi Not Breaking Up Its Media & Telecom Assets Now: CFO

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 3:54am PDT

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 »

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Vivendi Appoints Executives In Strategic Review Of Media And Telecoms Businesses

By | Tuesday August 21, 2012 @ 1:55am PDT

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 »

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Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy Expected To Exit After A Decade With Company

By | Thursday June 28, 2012 @ 9:51am PDT

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 »

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Liberty Media Beats Vivendi In Long-Standing Dispute Over USA Networks Sale

By | Monday June 25, 2012 @ 3:33pm PDT

Liberty Media LawsuitA 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 »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: France, Australia, Korea, China

By | Friday September 9, 2011 @ 3:45am PDT

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 »

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Lucian Grainge Now Chairman & CEO Of Universal Music Group

By | Wednesday March 9, 2011 @ 11:50am PST

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 »

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Vivendi Sells Off Its Remaining NBCU Stake

By | Wednesday January 26, 2011 @ 8:01am PST

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 »

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French Court Convicts Edgar Bronfman Jr & Jean-Marie Messier In Vivendi Crime Case

By | Friday January 21, 2011 @ 12:38pm PST

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 »

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Analysts Say Lagardere Threat To Sell 20% Stake In Canal+ Could Backfire With Vivendi

By | Monday July 5, 2010 @ 7:06am PDT

Canal_PlusFrench 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 »

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