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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 24 December, 2002, 14:14 GMT
Vivendi raises 3bn euros to cut debt
Vivendi Environnement
Vivendi is quitting the water business
The Heavily indebted French-American media giant Vivendi Universal has raised a further 3bn euros (1.9bn; $3.1bn) by selling off parts of the business.

In November, Vivendi announced plans to dispose of assets worth 7bn euros by the end of the year, and it has now hit that target.

The debt-laden company has sold half of its 40.8% stake in Vivendi Environnement for 1.86bn euros and its 10.7% holding in US satellite television channel EchoStar for 1.06bn euros.

Vivendi has now removed the debt carried by Vivendi Environnement from its accounts and the company has become further focused on media and communications.

Other sales have included its European and Latin American publishing business for 1.2bn euros and US publisher Houghton Mifflin for 1.7bn euros.

Raising cash

Last week the company said it would sell its stake in EchoStar at a $430m loss.

The sale of its utility business to institutional investors was announced on 24 November.

Vivendi Universal has promised to sell its remaining stake of Environnement to the same investors in the form of options, which should raise a further 1.14bn euros.

The company is also looking to raise cash to cover its 4bn euros purchase of BT's stake in telecoms group Cegetel, operator of France's SFR mobile network.

Vivendi has pledged to raise a total of 16bn euros by November 2004.

On Tuesday, shares in Vivendi Universal fell 1% to 15.65 euros.

See also:

18 Dec 02 | Business
12 Dec 02 | Business
03 Dec 02 | Business
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