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Vivendi Universal

Vivendi Universal was created in December of 2000 with the massive merger of the Vivendi media empire with Canal+ television networks and the Canadian company Seagram, the owner of Universal Studios film company. See Vivendi for previous company history.

In 2001, VU acquired and a leading American publisher, Houghton Mifflin.

In 2002, VU began facing financial trouble. It began financial reshuffling, trying to shore up media holdings while selling off shares in its spin-off companies.

During 2002, the company's Chairman and CEO, Jean-Marie Messier resigned, and the company and began reorganizing to stave off bankruptcy. Its largest single shareholder is the Bronfman family.