Capital Markets

Vivendi to Delist from U.S. Markets

Most of the company's shares held by U.S. investors are locally listed.
Stephen TaubJanuary 17, 2006

Vivendi Universal is the latest among a growing number of foreign companies that are delisting from U.S. exchanges.

The French media and telecommunications company cited several reasons for terminating its American depositary receipt program on the New York Stock Exchange. Vivendi noted that in addition to its desire to save money, its ADR trading volume has declined since 2001 and accounted for less than 5 percent of the total shares traded last year. It added that a majority of shares held by U.S.-based investors are locally listed.

Conspicuously missing from Vivendi’s announcement, at least in so many words, is the fact that the company will no longer need to adhere to the costly and demanding requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley.

Vivendi said it plans to proceed with the termination by the end of the second quarter of 2006.

Late last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed amended rules making it easier for foreign companies to terminate their registration.

Other European companies that have delisted from U.S. exchanges, noted MarketWatch, include mobile-phone operator O2 and Hard Rock Café owner Rank Group.