JULY 2, 2002
Canal Plus future in further doubt as Messier goes
Messier has now left and Canal Plus's future is less clear than ever with the possibility of the company being taken over by an American chief executive who will not have the same protective feelings towards the struggling French TV station. Messier asked the board to appoint a French chief executive and the favorite for the job in Jean-Rene Fourtou, the deputy head of drugs firm Aventis but there are others in the frame.
Messier was the man responsible for turning the old water company Generale des Eaux into a global media company with interests in TV, films and the music industry. Unfortunately this left the company with a huge debt and his departure comes as a result of a 60% drop in Vivendi's share price in the last six months.
It is possible that Canal Plus will now be sold off.