NEW YORK, April 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In the last few days, representatives of P. Schoenfeld Asset Management ("PSAM") and the Vivendi management team have engaged in a constructive dialogue. PSAM is pleased to take note of the formal commitments entered into by Vivendi at the end of these meetings that led to significant increases in the amount of dividend payouts to Vivendi shareholders.
In addition to the dividend proposed for financial year 2014, Vivendi, through statements made by the Chairman of its Management Board and the Chairman of its Supervisory Board, has publicly committed to convene another General Shareholders' Meeting at which time the proposal will be made to raise the distributions from asset disposal proceeds once the divestments of GVT and Numericable-SFR are completed. Vivendi stated that these distributions will be in an aggregate amount of €2 per share and will be paid according to the following schedule:
- €1 per share will be paid out in Q4 2015
- €1 per share will be paid out in Q1 2016
Mr. Bollore, a significant shareholder of Vivendi, has pledged to support these resolutions without reservation.
Furthermore, Vivendi will consider additional distributions if its acquisition strategy were to require less cash than anticipated over the next two years.
These new commitments made by Vivendi, in addition to its commitment made today of paying out an ordinary dividend of €1 per share, in both financial years 2016 and 2017, should enable a total return to shareholders of €6.75 billion (€5 per share).
PSAM believes these payouts are consistent with an appropriate capital return policy as well as an ambitious growth strategy at Vivendi, which may be pursued either organically or through acquisitions building on Canal + and Universal Music assets. Moreover, PSAM believes these payouts will lead to a significant reduction in the discount that had been applied to Vivendi's cash position by the markets.
These distributions are a major step forward and demonstrate that Vivendi and its management team are able to take into account the interest of its shareholders within a constructive dialogue.
PSAM believes that "after a highly successful streamlining of the Company, the two year horizon offered to Vivendi prior to reviewing the success of its strategic plan is likely to enable the group to implement its strategy in a composed manner."
Peter Schoenfeld and Rich Bilotti stated that, "The excellent track record of value creation demonstrated by Bollore Group and Mr. Bollore speaks for itself. Their long-term support of Vivendi, as reference shareholder as well as being a part of the Supervisory Board, will be important to the Group's success. Moreover, Mr. Bollore has demonstrated his sensitivity and willingness to respond to shareholder concerns."
PSAM believes that "shareholder voting schemes and capital allocation strategies are both important parts of corporate governance and are often inter-related. Many media and technology companies face significant future changes in their businesses. These types of firms can benefit from strong leadership provided by their management and boards. PSAM has historically invested in many companies with disproportionate voting schemes where the management and board have displayed equal commitments to transparent and balanced capital allocation. Vivendi's decision to augment its distributions to shareholders and clarify its capital allocation strategy will create intrinsic value for all shareholders."
PSAM is therefore withdrawing the draft resolutions it had submitted to Vivendi's General Meeting to be held on 17 April 2015. At this meeting, PSAM will approve all the draft resolutions put forward by the Management Board, to the exclusion of any others, and will therefore vote against the resolution that aims at avoiding the double voting right rule.
PSAM urges other shareholders to do likewise.
PSAM has been providing investment advisory services since 1997, with offices in New York and London. PSAM has approximately $3.4 billion in assets under management and invests in both equity and credit securities in global event driven opportunities.
This press release is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, an offer to sell, a solicitation of any offer to buy, an offer to purchase or a solicitation of consents with regard to any securities of Vivendi (the "Company", and such securities, the "Securities").
This release may contain forward-looking statements. Such statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "believes," "expects," "intends," "may," "estimates," "will," "should," "plans" or "anticipates" or the negative thereof or other variations thereon or comparable terminology, or by discussions of strategy. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the suggested by the forward-looking statements. The information provided in this press release is derived from PSAM's analysis and subjective views on the Company and its Securities. Other persons, including the Company, may have different analysis and views on the information provided herein.
No reliance is accepted on this press release and PSAM disclaims any liability in relation to this press release. Investors shall only rely on their own assessment prior to taking any decision in relation to the Company and/or the Securities. PSAM do not undertake any obligation to publicly release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
For Media Inquiries:
Anne- France Malrieu
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Ph : +33-1-53-70-74-93
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SOURCE P. Schoenfeld Asset Management (PSAM)