Debt-laden Vivendi Universal announced plans Aug. 14 to sell off $9.8 billion in assets, including educational publisher Houghton Mifflin. The announcement carries significant weight for the company's K-12 school customers, which include users of educational software from Sunburst Technology and Knowledge Adventure, now a division of Sunburst.


The sell-off signals the first step to break up the French media and entertainment conglomerate constructed in a two-year buying spree by former chairman Jean-Marie Messier.


Messier was ousted in July, leaving Vivendi struggling under $18.6 billion in

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