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Vivendi settles last claims from US class action

The Vivendi office is seen in Paris on Wednesday, May 17, 2006.Vivendi has finally settled the remaining claims made against it and still in dispute in the securities class action initiated in the US in 2002, following the unraveling of the rapid expansion of the company that culminated in the short-lived creation of Vivendi Universal.

In a move that Vivendi said was “finally putting this long-standing case to rest”, the media giant has agreed to pay US$26.4 million (€24.8 million) under a new agreement. The amount represents about one third of the total US$78 million it will pay to resolve the entire litigation, including the judgments previously entered.

The agreement brings to a close a long-running saga that saw claims being made against Vivendi and officials including the company’s former CEO Jean-Marie Messier, alleging that they made false or misleading statements and hid problems related to the merger of Vivendi, Universal owner Seagram and pay TV outfit Canal+ in 2000.

Investors had at one time claimed up to US$9.3 billion from the French company.

Vivendi said the agreement would result in a net reversal of provision of approximately €25 million in Vivendi’s 2017 financial statements.

Given that the provision had been already been deducted for tax purposes, this reversal will be taxed in 2017, the company said. The settlement is subject to final approval of the court.