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Vivendi U sells trades division

U.K. co. Cinven paying $1.8 billion

PARIS — Vivendi Universal has agreed to sell its trade magazine publishing division to U.K. investment company Cinven Ltd. for 2 billion euros ($1.8 billion dollars).

The deal, which includes the conglom’s medical publishing business, will help fund Vivendi U’s $2.2 billion acquisition of U.S.-based publisher Houghton Mifflin, announced in July.

The sale does not include free newspaper unit Comareg, for which Vivendi U is asking roughly 360 million euros.

“The deal is doubly good because the publications were a non-core activity plus they are business-to-business whereas Vivendi Universal is aiming at the mass market,” said Edouard Tetreau, an analyst at Credit Lyonnais Securities.

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