Houghton Mifflin, $920 Million Loss
Following are news excerpts of Vivendi's attempts (formerly known
as Havas) to sell Houghton Mifflin, publisher of the textbook "Across
the Centuries." Negotiations have failed at
approximately $500 million LESS than Vivendi previously
purchased HM only a year ago.
Public outrage began in January of 2002 over the Islamic
indoctrination in public school, first reported by
Mark Ellis. Simultaneously,
WorldNetDaily.com reported the
Byron County Islamic simulation outrage as well as the review of the
textbook by BlessedCause.
After dozens of news stories and various
appearances by professionals exposing the Islamic indoctrination of
students on Fox News, on Aug. 3rd, PE.com reported
|"The California Board of Education is scheduled to hear
proposals for new textbooks next year, said Chris Dowell, a
curriculum consultant for the state. Several publishers have
submitted social studies textbooks for consideration."|
Within two weeks of this
statement, reports of the imminent sale of Houghton Mifflin began.
Fox News wrote its headline: "Vivendi [Houghton Mifflin]
Hit by Huge Loss, Ratings Cut to Junk."
"Several potential buyers had been in contact."
"In a conference call with investors and analysts from the company's Paris
headquarters yesterday morning, chief executive Jean-Rene Fourtou said
Boston-based publisher Houghton Mifflin Co.
would be the first business put on the market.
"It's good that Houghton Mifflin is at the top of the list of things to
dump. It's not a strategic fit with the rest of the company," said George
Nichols, media analyst for Chicago's Morningstar Inc. "They said they wanted
to sell it for more than they paid for it, but I don't know if they'll be
able to." -Washington Post 8/15/02
On Oct. 23,
2002, Vivendi announced negotiations with Lagardere to purchase
its publishing businesses, with the exclusion of Houghton
"As to Houghton
Mifflin, Vivendi Universal is examining the possibility of starting
the disposal process again in order to be able to open it up to a
higher number of potential acquirers."
Pressure mounts on Vivendi as US sale crumbles
Reuters, London, October 26
Vivendi split up the sale of
its global publishing business earlier this week after receiving
disappointingly low bids. The media giant sold its French, Spanish and
Latin American assets to Lagardere but asked potential suitors for the
U.S. assets to submit fresh bids by 1600 GMT Friday.
Bids fall short
Vivendi, which paid $2.2 billion
including debt for Houghton Mifflin
just a year ago, told contenders for the unit that bids needed to be
above 1.75 billion euros.
PARIS — Media giant Vivendi Universal
revealed a 12.3 billion euro loss for the first half of the year on
Wednesday as new management said it would sell U.S. publisher Houghton
Mifflin to help contain a cash crisis.
"Vivendi said its board had voted to sell Boston-based
Houghton Mifflin, for which it paid $2.2 billion in June 2001.
"...bankers say the company would be better served selling
[Houghton Mifflin] piecemeal so as to attract buyers who
would be excluded from buying it outright."
Thus began the ongoing flurry of news reports stating the sale of
Houghton Mifflin as fact, only to hit glitches in the negotiating
Houghton Seen Close to Sale
By D.C. Denison, Globe Staff, 10/31/2002
Last week, Vivendi suspended the
Houghton Mifflin because the bids submitted were under the
declared minimum of 1.75 billion euros, or $1.72 billion. But talks
were restarted last weekend, and have continued into this week.
Sources close to the
Houghton talks said the leading
consortium was now headed by U.S. investment houses Blackstone and
Thomas H. Lee after Kolhberg Kravis Roberts dropped out.
The sources said European funds had reduced
their role in the team after the sale
of Vivendi's non-U.S. publishing
assets -- French investment house PAI has abandoned the bid while Apax
Partners has vastly reduced its investment in the deal.
shares weaken, investors discount
Houghton Mifflin sale
Nov 1, 2002 Yahoo News:
Shares of French media conglomerate
Vivendi Universal were trading lower as investors appeared to
discount its plans to sell US publisher
Houghton Mifflin for a price well below the amount paid to
acquire the unit just over a year ago.
VU shares at mid-day Friday were down 4.2 percent at 11.88 in a
generally weaker overall market.
Vivendi said late Thursday it had
entered into exclusive negotiations with a private equity consortium
to sell Houghton Mifflin for 1.75
billion euros (1.73 billion dollars), an amount in line with press
reports but well below the 2.2 billion dollars paid by the group in
Another new chapter
Houghton Mifflin parent agrees to sell publisher to Thomas
By D.C. Denison, Globe Staff, 11/1/2002
Vivendi Universal announced yesterday that it has agreed to sell
Boston-based publisher Houghton Mifflin
to a group of investors led by two Boston firms, Thomas H. Lee
Partners and Bain Capital. The purchase is reported to be for $1.7
billion in cash and assumed debt. Two other buyout firms are
also part of the investment group: New York-based Blackstone Group and
London-based Apax Partners.
According to the Associated Press on 12/31/02,
Houghton Mifflin has finally been sold for $920 million less
than one year ago! That equals 58% of what Vivendi (Havas) purchased
it for. Speculation is expressed about whether this is actually a good
deal for the purchaser. Business Today.com reports:
"Sperling said the new owners plan to grow Houghton's K-12
educational publishing business, which is strong in reading and
mathematics learning tools. The firms will also look to
expand Houghton's college
educational offerings, and explore acquisitions."
-Not one word about the social studies book. hmmmm.
We pray that all textbook publishers take note of the consequences of
publishing biased material, and urge you to omit the atheistic slant
predominant in public school textbooks as well. Christians ARE
beginning to take notice and respond.
RIP OUT the pages
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