The Turnaround of Vivendi Universal

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : BSTR199 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 1998-2005
Organization : Vivendi Universal
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : France
Industry : Media and Telecommunications


The case explains the turnaround achieved by the French media and telecommunications company, Vivendi Universal (VU). It explains how the company became nearly bankrupt, mainly on account of the many acquisitions made during the years 2000 and 2001 by its CEO Jean Marie Messier (Messier). The case attempts to explain how Jean-René Fourtou (Fourtou) who succeeded Messier as VU's CEO reduced VU's financial debt and brought the company back to investment grade. It explains the measures Fourtou took, such as the asset disposal programme, to achieve this objective. The case shows how Fourtou refocused the company as a 'media and telecommunications company' so as to take advantage of new opportunities in the digitized entertainment sector.

Business Strategy | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Business Strategy, Case Studies


» Importance of restructuring in the turnaround of companies
» Importance of short-term goals and objectives in the turnaround of companies
» Inability of a CEO to steer the company in a new strategic direction
» Impact of a failed strategy on the financial health of a global company
» Strategies to turnaround a media conglomerate


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Vivendi's Woes 2
Enter Fourtou 4
2003: A Year of Transition 6
The New Vivendi Universal 8
On the Right Track? 10
Exhibits 11


Vivendi Universal, Jean Marie Messier, Jean-René Fourtou, Universal Music Group, Vivendi Universal Games, Canal Plus Group, NBC Universal, Groupe SFR-Cegetel, Maroc Telecom, Cegetel, Seagram, AOL-Time Warner, Vodafone Group, Vivendi Environnement, Asset disposal programme, Conglomerate, Veolia Environnement, Universal Pictures

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