Cendant Sells Software Units

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Cendant Corp., Parsippany, NJ, will raise $800 million in cash by selling its consumer software division, Cendant Software, to Havas S.A., Paris, a subsidiary of communications company Vivendi S.A.

The deal, announced Nov. 20, also calls for Cendant to receive future contingent payments of up to $200 million through 1999 and will result in an after-tax gain of approximately $450 million.

The sale of Cendant Software, which includes the units Knowledge Adventure, Blizzard Entertainment, Davidson & Associates and Sierra On-Line, is the latest move by direct marketer Cendant to shore up its financial situation after being wracked by accounting fraud that forced the negative restatement of earnings for the last three years at Cendant and the former CUC International.

In the last two months, Cendant called off its proposed $3.1 billion acquisition of American Bankers Insurance, instituted a $1 billion share repurchase program and announced the sale of its Hebdo Mag subsidiary, which is expected to be completed in December.

"We will continue to execute our program of selling non-core businesses while maximizing the growth of Cendant's core business units,'' CEO Henry Silverman said in a prepared statement.

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