Vivendi gets rid of its IT press business

Vivendi Universal Publishing is about to sell its professional press division including major IT publisher Groupe Tests

The publishing branch of Vivendi Universal has announced that it is putting an end to its professional press business, including Groupe Tests (number one in French IT publishing).

This is meant to help with the funding of the Houghton Mifflin purchase, one of the main educational publishing houses in the world, for an amount of $2.2bn (£1.55bn). This should enable VUP to rank second in the educational press market.

"This purchase will mostly be made possible thanks to the selling of the professional and free press belonging to Vivendi Universal Publishing, and only after approval of the company work councils," said the company in a statement. "Those fields are more subject to change than the school press."

The buyer remains unknown. According to the French daily newspaper Les Echos, it could be the German Bertelsmann group. However a Bertelsmann spokesman denied this when asked by ZDNet.

Yet, a few months ago both groups had met to talk about a possible merger between Bertelsmann Springer, including its professional press business, and Havas (renamed VUP after the Vivendi and Universal merger).

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