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FRANCE/USA: Jean-Marie Messier and Edgar Bronfman, Jr. Comment on Sale of Seagram Spirits and Wine Business

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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."

Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Executive Vice Chairman of Vivendi Universal, commented: "I am extremely pleased with the agreement between Diageo and Pernod Ricard in that it provides Vivendi Universal shareholders with a premium value. Over the past seven decades, Seagram brands have become some of the world's finest - built and nurtured by talented, creative and dedicated people around the world. The high quality of our brands and the strong performance of the spirits and wine business are a tribute to the leadership of our outstanding management team."

Formed December 8, 2000, as a result of a merger between Vivendi, Seagram and Canal+, Paris-based Vivendi Universal operates a number of leading and increasingly integrated businesses. In media and communications, the company has operations in the telecommunications, multimedia, publishing and distribution, pay television, recreation and Internet industries. By combining an array of popular global and local content with advanced digital distribution technology, e-services and e-commerce, Vivendi Universal provides content to an international customer and subscriber base through a variety of access devices. Vivendi Universal produces, markets and distributes recorded music, motion picture, television and home video products throughout the world in all major genres; operates and has ownership in a number of international cable channels; engages in the licensing of merchandising rights and film property rights; operates theme parks and retail stores; and is also involved in the development of entertainment software. In addition, through its environment division, Vivendi Universal provides world-class water, waste management, transportation and energy services operations.


Companies: Diageo, Pernod Ricard

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