Shares in Vivendi Universal slipped nearly 5% today (Aug 12) as fresh doubt emerged about its asset valuations.
The shares fell to Euros16.19 after a report in financial daily La Tribune quoted an unnamed stock market analyst who said that Vivendi could devalue its internet assets by around Euros 400-500m and its holding in US cable division USA Networks by Euros1.5bn. Another analyst said it could devalue USA Networks by as much as Euros3bn, taking the total write-down to between Euros3bn-5bn.
The nervousness is compounded by the wait for interim results, which will be announced on Wednesday (Aug 14). Already delayed, these are the first to be published in the post-Messier era under the leadership of new chief executive Jean-Rene Fourtou.
Depending on their size, the write-downs could potentially mean that Vivendi Universal announces losses on Wednesday. That would be a painful blow, but would not be unusual practice for a new executive team wanting to start with a clean slate.