Troubled French media and communications company Vivendi Universal has said it may have to sell E10 billion worth of assets over the next two years in order to reduce debts. The news follows the company’s announcement that it has made a net loss of E12.3 billion in the first half of this year. The big losses were caused by a large write down in the value of the company’s assets and other financial charges taken by Vivendi.
Houghton Mifflin, the educational publisher bought by Vivendi for $1.7 billion only a year ago is expected to be one of the first assets put up for sale. Vivendi has revealed that it has already taken part in active discussions with interested parties and anticipates that the sale of Houghton Mifflin will take place before the end of the year. Other assets rumoured to be up for sale are Vivendi’s 10% stake in EchoStar Communications and the French publishing firm, Comareg.
Vivendi is aiming to raise around E5 billion over the next 9 months in order to resolve its short-term liquidity problems.