Vivendi appeals Polish ruling on mobile operator

1st March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 1 (AFP) - Vivendi Universal said Tuesday it had appealed a Polish court ruling that stripped the French media and communications group of its controlling stake in the leading Polish mobile operator PTC.

PARIS, March 1 (AFP) - Vivendi Universal said Tuesday it had appealed a Polish court ruling that stripped the French media and communications group of its controlling stake in the leading Polish mobile operator PTC.

"Faced with repeated breaches of the law and attempts to deprive it of its interests in Poland, Vivendi Universal is commencing proceedings," the group said in a statement.

The complex legal case pits Vivendi against its former co-stakeholder Elektrim, a Polish electricity and telecommunications group, and the German telecoms operator Deutsche Telekom.

On Friday, a Warsaw regional court changed the company register for Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (PTC), a move that made Deutsche Telekom the biggest PTC shareholder with a 49 percent stake.

The court changed the register in line with a decision last year by an arbitration court in Vienna, which ruled that Elektrim's transfer of its PTC stake to set up ET/Telco in 1999 with Vivendi was illegal.

ET/Telco, which is controlled by Vivendi, owned 51 percent of PTC before the ruling.

Vivendi has appealed Friday's ruling to the Polish government under a bilateral investment protection agreement between France and Poland.

The complaint opens a six-month negotiating period, with a provision that in case of a breakdown the dispute would go before an international court overseen by the United Nations for arbitration, the French company said.

Deutsche Telekom has long been trying to wrest control of PTC from ET/Telco. The German telecoms giant offered to buy out ET/Telco's stake in the mobile operator last year for EUR 1.3 billion (USD 1.7 billion), but the offer was rejected.

ET/Telco officials have estimated their stake's market value at around EUR 2 billion.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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