Vivendi Posts Steep Loss, Sets Asset Sales

With Jean-Marie Messier no longer at its helm, Vivendi Universal ( V) Wednesday began the process of dismantling the sprawling media empire he tried to build over two years.

The French-American conglomerate announced it will sell its Houghton Mifflin publishing house as part of a $10 billion divestiture aimed at reducing its crippling corporate debt.

Vivendi also announced a crushing $12 billion second-quarter loss, primarily reflecting an $11 billion writedown of goodwill and more than $3 billion in reserves. The company did manage to post a 13% rise in the first half, about double what analysts were forecasting.

Under a plan approved Tuesday, Vivendi plans to sell half of the planned $10 billion in assets over the next nine months. Houghton Mifflin was acquired in 2001 for about $1.7 billion.

The company's shares were trading down about 2.5% at $14.95 in the Instinet premarket session.

More from Technology

FANG Stocks Get Swept Up in Broader Market Selloff

FANG Stocks Get Swept Up in Broader Market Selloff

Snap Shares Plunge After Cowen Cuts Price Target

Snap Shares Plunge After Cowen Cuts Price Target

3 Warren Buffett Stock Picks That Could Be Perfect for Your Retirement Portfolio

3 Warren Buffett Stock Picks That Could Be Perfect for Your Retirement Portfolio

It's Not Over Yet: Keep an Eye on FANG Stocks

It's Not Over Yet: Keep an Eye on FANG Stocks

Apple Buys Tesla? Amazon Buys Sears? 3 Dream Mergers That Just Make Sense

Apple Buys Tesla? Amazon Buys Sears? 3 Dream Mergers That Just Make Sense