Vivendi Universal is to slash staff at its Paris headquarters and other international offices in a bid to achieve savings of Euros140m in the coming year.

In a statement, Vivendi said it planned to cut 152 positions out of 327 staff in its Paris headquarters. Management tasks will be concentrated in Paris, while the New York office will also be downsized, becoming a representative office responsible for North American activities.

As yet, it is unclear who exactly will be affected by the measures. The move is part of a debt reduction plan outlined last month by VU's chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou. This has seen the company try to distance itself from the free-spending days of predecessor Jean-Marie Messier which led it to the verge of bankruptcy. Fourtou has said he plans to reduce Vivendi's debt by Euros12bn within 18 months.

The project, according to a VU statement, "aims to redefine and refocus the headquarters tasks on holding company activities and concentrate all those tasks in Paris." Under Messier, the New York office became almost a rival centre to the company's Paris base.