HITS Daily Double


Word of Possible Asset Split Drives Stocks Up
Shares in Vivendi Universal rose on Tuesday after a French newspaper report that board members are weighing a plan to split up the media, telecoms and utility conglomerate, Reuters reports.

Under the plan, media assets including Universal Studios, Universal Music, cable television and publishing would become a new entity, separate from telecoms unit Cegetel and water utility Vivendi Environnement, newspaper Liberation said.

The report cited sources close to the board as saying four of its members -- Bernard Arnault, Henri Lachmann, Serge Tchuruk and Marc Vienot -- were backing the plan.

Vivendi shareholders would receive shares in both new companies, though U.S. shareholders would gradually disengage from the French utilities side in favor of the media business, Liberation reported.

At 10:01 a.m. GMT, shares in Vivendi Universal were up 2.9% to 32.87%.