Vivendi liable for financial misstatements

Jury finds former CEO, CFO were not liable

NEW YORK -- A jury on Friday found Vivendi liable for misstatements about the telecom and entertainment company's financial health nearly a decade ago.

The jury in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan said Vivendi was liable for 57 alleged misstatements and acted recklessly.

However, it also came to the conclusion that former CEO Jean-Marie Messier and former CFO Guillaume Hannezo weren't liable.

Vivendi said it disagrees with the decision that public statements made by the company between Oct. 30, 2000, and Aug. 14, 2002, violated U.S. securities laws.

The amount of damages that Vivendi may be required to pay as a result of the verdict "remains uncertain and will be known at a later and as yet undetermined stage," the firm said.

"Vivendi intends to pursue all available paths of action to overturn the verdict."

Vivendi mentioned "many grounds for appeal," including the court's decision to include French shareholders, its rulings on jurisdiction and "the plaintiffs' erroneous method of proving and calculating damages, as well as the numerous incorrect rulings made during the course of the trial."

Vivendi reiterated that "it did nothing wrong and that this case raises significant legal issues for foreign corporations doing business in the United States that need to be definitively resolved."
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