Messier bows London office

Consultancy expands as exec still seeks Viv U payout

PARIS — Even as the global media conglom he created is sold off in bits, ousted Viv U chairman Jean-Marie Messier hasn’t given up empire-building.

It may only be a small start, but Messier Partners, his new Paris- and New York-based mergers and acquisitions advisory boutique, is opening a third office in London, he confirmed to Daily Variety on Friday.

Messier — currently embroiled in a bitter legal wrangle with Vivendi Universal over an alleged $23.4 million severance package — stopped short of revealing any details about this venture.

“I’m not going to comment on the activities and the clients of Messier Partners, which is a private company in which respecting secrets is part of what clients expect,” the former Viv U topper said.

According to some sources, Messier Partners is working on a media acquisition for the French aerospace and media giant Lagardere.

But Messier has hotly dismissed other reports that he is also advising Barry Diller.

A partner in the new firm was quoted last week as saying that Messier Partners is headhunting a mergers and acquisitions banker to head a team of three in its London office.