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Vivendi shares lower after US trial loss

Vivendi shares lower after US trial loss

Vivendi SA shares fell sharply in early trading Monday after a U.S. jury found that the French media and entertainment giant lied to the public about its shaky finances _ a decision that sets the stage for the possible distribution of several billion dollars in damages to investors.
Vivendi shares fell as much as 3.6 percent Monday morning, and at 1000 GMT were down 2.8 percent at (EURO)18.33 ($25.60).
The company was found liable, but not its executives, according to the verdict in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Vivendi said it will appeal. Lawyers on both sides said any potential payouts, should the appeal fail, would be more than a year away. The jury deliberated 14 days before reaching its verdict Friday.
Plaintiffs said in a release that the potential payout to investors could total $9.3 billion. A lawyer for Vivendi said it was impossible at this stage to estimate actual damages because it was not clear how many were in the class and who will seek payouts.
Thousands of investors from the United States, France, England and the Netherlands said Vivendi covered up its troubles in 2001 and 2002 as the one-time public water company grew into a media and communications empire. The company flirted with bankruptcy before reorganizing successfully.


Updated : 2021-10-18 16:00 GMT+08:00