Paris Police Raid Vivendi Headquarters Over Failed Mediaset Deal

Vivendi Chairman Vincent Bollore

The move is the latest escalation in a legal battle between Vincent Bollore's Vivendi and Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset.

Paris police raided the headquarters of media conglomerate Vivendi as part of an investigation into its acquisition of Italian broadcaster Mediaset. The raid came at the request of Italian authorities who are looking into allegations of stock price manipulation.

“Regarding the complaint filed against Vivendi by the Berlusconi Group, which has resulted in a search of Vivendi’s offices, Vivendi’s management reaffirms that it acquired its stake in Mediaset totally legally and transparently and remains absolutely confident in the conclusion of this disagreement,” Vivendi said in a statement.

Vincent Bollore’s Vivendi, parent company of Universal Music Group and StudioCanal, has been locked in a battle with former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset over a failed acquisition deal, with both launching lawsuits against each other after the deal went south.

Vivendi, the company’s second-largest shareholder behind Berlusconi’s holding company Fininvest, was set to acquire Mediaset’s pay TV unit in a deal announced in April 2016, but Vivendi backed out that July and attempted to change the terms of the strategic agreement the two had signed.

The loss of the deal sent Mediaset stocks lower, and the Berlusconi family alleged that Vivendi was setting the stage for a hostile takeover. The two have been in a legal battle ever since.

Mediaset and Fininvest are suing Vivendi for $3.5 billion (€3 billion).