• Company
  • Description
  • Recovery Amount
  • Vivendi
  • Vivendi Universal
  • Active

 

France

G&E is working with French counsel in representing a number of European investors in an action in the Commercial Court of Paris against Vivendi Universal (“Vivendi”) and its former Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer. The investors were purchasers of Vivendi’s shares that traded on the Paris Bourse. The claims allege that from at least October 2000 through mid-2002, Vivendi engaged in a scheme to inflate its share prices artificially by materially and fraudulently misstating its financial results. In particular, Vivendi and its CEO, Jean-Marie Messier, concealed the existence of a severe liquidity crisis at the company. The claims are based on the losses incurred by purchasers of Vivendi shares from 2000-2002, when Vivendi’s stock price plummeted from over €80 to under €20 per share as a result of the disclosures that came out between January and August 2002. As G&E is not admitted to practice in France, G&E retained French counsel to handle the court appearances, however, G&E has been heavily involved in directing case strategy and actively participating in all decisions as well as reviewing all substantive briefs and other papers prior to filing. In this way, G&E’s role has been very much like that of in-house counsel managing outside lawyers litigating a case. In January 2015, Paris Commercial Court issued a decision rejecting defendants’ preliminary motions, and the Court appointed an expert to review plaintiffs’ evidence as to their transactions in Vivendi stock. The expert’s report was submitted to the court in March 2018.