Ex-Vivendi chief grilled by French regulator

29th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 28 (AFP) - Former Vivendi Universal chief executive Jean-Marie Messier was questioned Thursday by the French financial markets regulator over alleged embezzlement in 2001 and 2002.

PARIS, Oct 28 (AFP) - Former Vivendi Universal chief executive Jean-Marie Messier was questioned Thursday by the French financial markets regulator over alleged embezzlement in 2001 and 2002.

Messier's finance director Guillaume Hannezo was also questioned.

The grilling, which was held behind closed doors at the offices of the AMF regulators, marks a new step in investigations into insider trading during Messier's leadership of the French media and communications company.

The French regulator's investigation began in late 2003 after Messier was ousted as Vivendi chairman in July 2002 after his dream of turning the water group Compagnie Generale des Eaux into a global entertainment empire died, leaving what had become Vivendi Universal with EUR 35 billion in debt.

If it decides to slap sanctions on Messier and Hannezo, the two could face fines of up to EUR 1.5 million (USD 1.9 million) each.

If fined the two can appeal to the Paris appelate court.

Vivendi's current chief Jean-Rene Fourtou was also heard Thursday but for only an hour and only as a representative of the group, a source close to the matter said.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article