Vivendi SA – Company Information

vivendi SA logo
Company Vivendi S.A.
Headquarters 42 avenue de Friedland, 75380 Paris Cedex 08,
Industry Mass media, Telecommunications
Type Société Anonyme
Founded December 14, 1853 (as Compagnie générale des eaux), 1998 (as Vivendi)
EPA stock symbol VIV
Products Music publishing, film production, publishing, pay television services, television broadcasting, telecommunication services

Vivendi S.A. is a French multinational mass media and telecom conglomerate that focuses on grouping together leaders in content and media.

The company is active in the following markets: telecommunications, Internet, television, music, and film.

It used to own the French telecom company SFR. However in April 2014 SFR was sold to Numericable for 17 billion euros. The company owns the Brazilian high-speed Internet and connected television company GVT.

Through Canal+ Group the company has a significant market presence in French pay-TV, which also operates in French-speaking Africa, Vietnam, and Poland.

Its subsidiary StudioCanal is one of Europe’s leading production, acquisition, and distributers of TV series and film sales.

Other market-leading companies that the company owns: Digitick and See Tickets (ticketing), Wengo (expert phone counseling) and Watchever (subscription video-on-demand service in Germany).

Vivendi Universal SA was formed in 2000 following the merger of Vivendi SA with Canal+ television networks and the subsequent acquisition of the Canadian company Seagram Company Ltd (owner of Universal Studios).

In 2001 the company acquired, along with Houghton Mifflin, a leading American publisher.

In 2004 three quarters of the Vivendi Universal Entertainment branch was sold to GE, to form NBC Universal.

A strategy was initiated in 2012 following the launch of a strategic review announced in a Letter to the shareholders in March, upon which Vivendi’s Supervisory Board decided to refocus the Group on its media and content activities while maximizing the value of its telecom assets.

Vivendi SA sold off most of its interest in Activision Blizzard in October 2013, though it still retains a 12% stake in the company.

In November 2013, Vivendi acquired from the Lagardère group the 20% interest it did not yet own in Canal+ France, a transaction jointly announced by the two companies. That same month the company signed an agreement to sell its majority and controlling stake in Maroc Telecom (Morocco) to the Abu Dhabi based company Etisalat.