Vivendi Universal in the spotlight

There has been a mixed reaction to rating agency pessimism concerning Vivendi’s dismal first-quarter results, with investors hoping the likely disposal of stakes in VE and Cegetel will restore confidence.

It has been a confidence-sapping few weeks for investors in Vivendi Universal (VU), and the company is perilously close to being dragged further into the mire by additional reductions in its long-term credit ratings. VU last month smashed the record for the largest loss by a French company, posting a €17 billion loss in the first quarter after an unexpectedly large goodwill write-off. The conglomerate’s share price has hit its lowest level since October 1997.

Standard & Poor’s reacted by

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