Environment turning green for Vivendi

Firm subsid's share price boosted by good half-year results

PARIS — Less than two months ago, investors thought they had better places to put their money than in Vivendi’s unenticing environment services.

But Vivendi Environnement’s lackluster IPO — crucial to the Vivendi-Seagram deal — was just a bad memory Monday, as the share price closed at a healthy 39.5 euros ($35.65), a slight fall from $36.59 Friday but up almost 21% on the launch price.

Conversely, France Telecom’s Wanadoo and EADS, whose July IPOs cast long shadows over that of Vivendi Environnement, have stayed on the starting blocks.

The Vivendi subsid’s share price has been boosted by good half-year results and reports last week that the German energy group RWI was still interested in buying it.

At the IPO launch, Jean Marie Messier said he had turned down a RWI offer of $28 million for the company. Last week, Vivendi told Daily Variety that it would hold on to its environment arm until at least 2003.

The current share price values Vivendi Environnement at $16.06 billion, close to analysts’ assessments. Vivendi and Canal Plus stock were also on the rise Monday, up 2.88% and 2.93%, respectively. They’ve still quite a way to go, though, before recovering the 16% and 17% losses in their respective share prices following the June 20 announcement of their fusion with Seagram.

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