In response to today's announcement that Diageo and Pernod Ricard will acquire Seagram's spirits and wine business for $8.15 billion, the following comments were issued today: Jean-Marie Messier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Vivendi Universal, said: "I am very pleased with the agreement we have executed with Diageo and Pernod Ricard. This agreement recognizes the full value of Seagram's spirits and wine business and creates after tax proceeds that exceed Seagram's net debt. This transaction strengthens our balance sheet and helps to create real and immediate value for Vivendi Universal shareholders. We have a great management team in place and strong media and communications businesses that are strategically well positioned. With this sale, we will now focus our energy on achieving the aggressive growth targets that we have set for ourselves."