Vivendi announced in 2012 that it was launching a strategic review of all its assets. In its March letter to the shareholders, reviewing the reasons for the share price performance, Vivendi indicated that an “issue that has regularly arisen since 2002 is the strategic question of the group’s scope”. 2002 is the year when Jean-René Fourtou took over the Chairmanship of the company, disposed of some activities, refocused and strengthened the group, developing it around entertainment and communication.
At the end of June 2012, the Supervisory and Management Boards gathered for their annual two-day meeting to work on the group’s strategic orientations. In a press release issued on that occasion, it was indicated that Vivendi would communicate its plans and the necessary evolution of the group as and when appropriate.
Jean-François Dubos, who joined Compagnie Générale des Eaux, the predecessor of Vivendi, in 1991, was appointed Chairman of the Management Board on June 28. He replaced Jean-Bernard Lévy who stepped down following a divergence of views on the strategic development of the group.
On August 20, Vivendi announced that Jean-Yves Charlier had been appointed Senior Executive Vice President in charge of Telecoms Activities; he was previously a member of the Supervisory Board and Chairman of its Strategic Committee. Bertrand Meheut, Chairman of the Management Board of Canal+ Group and Canal+ France, was entrusted with a strategic review regarding the development of media and content.
As mentioned in its half-year earnings release, Vivendi “remains totally committed to recreating shareholder value, growing adjusted net income per share and keeping a strong credit rating”.
Two major transactions announced in 2011 were closed in September. On September 28, Vivendi and Universal Music Group announced that they had completed the acquisition of EMI Recorded Music. The day before, Canal+ Group completed the acquisition of the Direct 8 and Direct Star free-to-air channels owned by the Bolloré group in exchange for Vivendi shares; on October 16, the Bolloré group indicated that it owned 5,01% of Vivendi’s share capital. Also in September, the transaction between Canal+ Group, ITI and TVN was granted full consent by the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.