Viv U board member: No suspicion of fraud

Probe news sends share price tumbling

PARIS — A Vivendi Universal board member on Thursday downplayed the gravity of a probe by French regulators into the beleaguered media giant’s accounts, calming jittery investors and helping to lift stock prices after opening losses.

“There is no suspicion of fraud in the presentation of accounts,” Mark Vienot said. Vienot is also the former chairman of the company’s main lender, Societe Generale.

The Commission des Operations de Bourse, France’s equivalent of the SEC, announced Tuesday night that it had raided the company’s headquarters to obtain documents in its investigation into the past 18 months of Viv U’s finances.

Stock price plummets

The news sent Viv U’s share price tumbling, even though the ailing media group secured a x1 billion ($998 million) loan from its banks and is lining up another $2.5 billion.

COB chairman Michel Prada said Tuesday night that the investigation did not imply criminal wrongdoing on the part of the company, but he would give no further details of the probe.

Vienot also quelled rumors that new topper Jean-Rene Fourtou, who replaced ousted CEO Jean-Marie Messier last week, was a stopgap until someone more suitable could be found.

More Biz

  • Wilson Cruz Trace Lysette

    Variety to Live-Stream GLAAD Media Awards Nominations

    PARIS — A Vivendi Universal board member on Thursday downplayed the gravity of a probe by French regulators into the beleaguered media giant’s accounts, calming jittery investors and helping to lift stock prices after opening losses. “There is no suspicion of fraud in the presentation of accounts,” Mark Vienot said. Vienot is also the former […]

  • PyeongChang Winter Olympics

    To Win Olympics, NBCU Must Lure Big Crowds -- and Small Streamers

    PARIS — A Vivendi Universal board member on Thursday downplayed the gravity of a probe by French regulators into the beleaguered media giant’s accounts, calming jittery investors and helping to lift stock prices after opening losses. “There is no suspicion of fraud in the presentation of accounts,” Mark Vienot said. Vienot is also the former […]

  • Korean Giant to Emerge from CJ

    Korea's CJ Orders Up Merger of Media and Shopping Units

    PARIS — A Vivendi Universal board member on Thursday downplayed the gravity of a probe by French regulators into the beleaguered media giant’s accounts, calming jittery investors and helping to lift stock prices after opening losses. “There is no suspicion of fraud in the presentation of accounts,” Mark Vienot said. Vienot is also the former […]

  • Nicolas Winding Refn, Times Bridge Invest

    Nicolas Winding Refn, India’s Times Bridge Invest in MUBI Streaming Service

    PARIS — A Vivendi Universal board member on Thursday downplayed the gravity of a probe by French regulators into the beleaguered media giant’s accounts, calming jittery investors and helping to lift stock prices after opening losses. “There is no suspicion of fraud in the presentation of accounts,” Mark Vienot said. Vienot is also the former […]

  • Los Angeles Women's March

    Natalie Portman, Allison Janney, Viola Davis Join Women's March Los Angeles Lineup

    PARIS — A Vivendi Universal board member on Thursday downplayed the gravity of a probe by French regulators into the beleaguered media giant’s accounts, calming jittery investors and helping to lift stock prices after opening losses. “There is no suspicion of fraud in the presentation of accounts,” Mark Vienot said. Vienot is also the former […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content