Vivendi To Pay $50 Million
Vivendi Universal says it's reached a final settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in which it agrees, "without admitting or denying any liability," not to "violate certain specified provisions of the U.S. securities laws in the future".
It also agreed $50 million will be distributed to "certain Vivendi Universal shareholders pursuant to a plan of distribution to be established by the SEC".
The settlement follows an investigation started in mid-2002 after Vivendi Universal's then chairman, Jean-Marie Messier, resigned under a cloud, to considerably understate the situation.
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Charged by the SEC with violating US securities laws while he was Vivendi Universal's ceo, Messier "settled those charges with the SEC by entering into a Consent Decree," says Vivendi.
"As part of his settlement with the SEC, Messier has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1 million, to relinquish all his claims against Vivendi Universal under his termination agreement and to give up the approximately $25 million judgment that he was claiming.
"As a part of a settlement with Mr. Messier, Vivendi Universal will pay Mr. Messier's lawyers a portion of their legal fees and expenses incurred in connection with the litigation between them."
Vivendi 's former cfo, Guillaume Hannezo, also settled with the SEC by entering into a Consent Decree and by also agreeing to pay a civil penalty for an undisclosed amount.
So that's OK.