Vivendi Accounts Under Scrutiny by French Watchdog

10 July 2002

The accounts of ailing media giant Vivendi Universal are under investigation by French stock market regulators.

Officials from watchdog COB raided Vivendi’s Parisian headquarters Tuesday morning to scrutinise the group’s books from January 2001 onwards.

The investigation follows accusations last week in French paper Le Monde that Vivendi tried to massage its 2001 results by including the sale of its stake in British satellite operator BSkyB. On that occasion, the regulator intervened to ensure the accounts were in line with French law.

COB director Michael Prada did not disclose the motive for the inquiry, but denied there was any suspicion Vivendi had cooked its books.

Separately, in some good news for Vivendi, the group’s creditor banks have provisionally agreed a €1 billion ($1bn; £0.64bn) loan. The new cash should give the media mammoth breathing space while it mulls divestments and negotiates further loans of €2.5bn to €3bn.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff