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The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Vivendi Delisted From U.S. Stock Markets 29

Despite the success of subsidiary Blizzard's World of Warcraft, Vivendi Universal has delisted itself from U.S. stockmarkets in an effort to cut costs. 1up reports: "Just because they're moving off the American stock market, however, doesn't mean Vivendi Universal won't seek, rely on or utilize US investors. 'Vivendi Universal intends to maintain and develop its business operations in the US, but wishes to reduce financial costs,' says the company's statement."
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Vivendi Delisted From U.S. Stock Markets

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  • by general_re ( 8883 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @03:29PM (#14512720) Homepage
    Just because they're moving off the American stock market, however, doesn't mean Vivendi Universal won't seek, rely on or utilize US investors.

    Yeah. The problem for those investors is that Vivendi's reporting and disclosure requirements just got a whole lot looser. Better get a real close look at their books if you're planning on sending any money their way.

    • by MindStalker ( 22827 ) <mindstalker@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Thursday January 19, 2006 @03:38PM (#14512811) Journal
      Exactly my thoughts. The article does say "he company has vowed to stand by the US Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and will continue to comply pending their eventual deregistration." But the doesn't mean they are going to be complying with newly enacted reporting requirements, or even anything required since 1934.. :) They arn't legally bought to the act either way. Though I'm sure the European exchange does have its rules, I couldn't help but think new requirements like full disclosure of Executive perks to be a primary reason.
      • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @03:45PM (#14512859)
        Sarbanes-Oxley would be the most likely reason for a company to do something like this, probably so that they don't have to pay for the audits. Of course, the whole reason beyond the Act was to make companies accountable to their shareholders and to the public in general, so if you invest in VU, you should (as the previous posters have said) be aware that you have one less safety net available.

      • The article does say "he company has vowed to stand by the US Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and will continue to comply pending their eventual deregistration."

        That sounds like a forward-looking statement, which cannot be guaranteed :)

        Though I'm sure the European exchange does have its rules...

        I'm sure they do too, but US listing rules are just about the toughest in the world. I don't know much about French requirements particularly, but I do know that companies can be perfectly compliant with listi

    • Just because they're moving off the American stock market, however, doesn't mean Vivendi Universal won't seek, rely on or utilize US investors.

      Yeah. The problem for those investors is that Vivendi's reporting and disclosure requirements just got a whole lot looser. Better get a real close look at their books if you're planning on sending any money their way.

      Do keep in mind that, contrary to popular belief, buying stock in a company (other than at IPO) sends no money to the company. The money you pay,

      • Do keep in mind that, contrary to popular belief, buying stock in a company (other than at IPO) sends no money to the company.

        Of course, but the advantage to investing in exchange-listed stocks is that the disclosure requirements and SEC filing requirements give potential investors far more information than what is required of delisted or unlisted companies. If you plan to hit the pink sheets, be my guest, but that's not much more than high-stakes gambling, IMO :)

        • Do keep in mind that, contrary to popular belief, buying stock in a company (other than at IPO) sends no money to the company.

          Of course, but the advantage to investing in exchange-listed stocks is that the disclosure requirements and SEC filing requirements give potential investors far more information than what is required of delisted or unlisted companies.

          Not true. You can only avoid the reporting requirments if you have less than 500 investors and less than 10 million (US) dollar in assets. (One su

          • I think you misunderstand me - what they don't have to do is abide by the disclosure requirements in their NYSE listing agreement. Nor do they have to follow the exchange rules on corporate governance, or otherwise meet the minimum standards for listing. Perhaps this French thing has similar requirements, but I'm inclined to seriously doubt it.
            • I think you misunderstand me - what they don't have to do is abide by the disclosure requirements in their NYSE listing agreement.

              I never claimed otherwise. But the disclosures required by the NYSE are just pretty window dressing on top of the one required by the SEC.

              Nor do they have to follow the exchange rules on corporate governance, or otherwise meet the minimum standards for listing.

              The minimum standards for listing aren't all that impressive, and the oversight rules of the exchange are toothless

  • Does this mean that their stock is no longer available to purchase publicly? If so, if they decide to relist, would that be a SPO (Second public offering)?
  • Pink Sheet (Score:3, Interesting)

    by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @04:11PM (#14513095)
    Investing in something on the pink sheets (unlisted stocks) is so risky that even hucksters like Jim Cramer recommend against it.

  • What this all means (Score:3, Informative)

    by nelsonal ( 549144 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @04:35PM (#14513271) Journal
    The company will get a new shiny 5 letter ticker, and will trade on the pink sheets (home to Cadbury, Nestle, Mitsubishi (not the bank), Samsung) and other big relativly safe foreign companies as well as tiny insanly risky domestic stocks. The one unifying feature of trading on the pink sheets is that you do not have to meet SEC filing requirements (which is a feature for the small companies) the big foreign companies usually meet a similar level of disclosure although the accounting rules can differ from domestic ones. This is likely due to the very high costs of becoming Sarbanes-Oxley complient and if they do not need to why spend the money. Big fund holders are unlikely to sell due to this change, since there will still be liquidity enough to allow them to trade.
    • DISCLAIMER: I have little knowledge of financial markets and the legalities involved.

      The question I thought of when reading your post was: how easy is it to trade on a foreign market? Aside from things like time zones and language barriers, is this difficult to do?

      • by Anonymous Coward
        The single biggest issue with foreign investment is currency. I'm an Australian. If I buy shares that are listed on an Australian stock exchange (we have several; the Australian Stock Exchange [asx.com.au], aka ASX, is just the main one), I need to settle the transaction in Australian dollars, drawn upon an Australian bank.

        If I wish to buy shares on (for example) a US stock exchange, on the other hand, I need to settle the transaction in US dollars, likely drawn upon a US bank. Yes, I can buy a US dollar cheque in Austr
      • My background is with pension funds where our foreign investments were managed by regional fund managers. It depends on your broker, the big houses (Goldman, Merrill, Morgan etc) can do it but it will generally cost you. If you aren't a high 6 figure account the commissions will probably make it too costly. Most of the online brokers I've dealt with don't do much more than Canada. There are a surprising number of foreign companies that trade either on the pink sheets or listed on one of the major exchan
        • Sorry about the double reply, but the global ETFs are getting focused enough to allow investments in most countries and several industries. Trading costs are much lower for these than trying to trade the equities on the foreign market.
  • It's not in TFA, which is disappointing.

    And the last month in trading is just slightly down, despite a recent drop.
  • Vivendi destroyed my favorite game company, so I'm not shedding any tears.

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