Suspended jail term cut on appeal for ex-Vivendi boss

PARIS Mon May 19, 2014 12:58pm EDT

The Vivendi logo is pictured at the main entrance of the entertainment-to-telecoms conglomerate headquarters in Paris March 14, 2014. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The Vivendi logo is pictured at the main entrance of the entertainment-to-telecoms conglomerate headquarters in Paris March 14, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - A French court on Monday cut from three years to 10 months the suspended jail term handed to former Vivendi (VIV.PA) chief executive Jean-Marie Messier in his appeal against a 2010 conviction for misuse of corporate assets.

In the ruling read out in court, a conviction of providing misleading information to shareholders was dropped altogether, and a fine against Messier reduced from 150,000 euros ($205,600)to 50,000 euros.

Messier, who now runs a boutique investment bank in Paris, led Vivendi a decade ago during the heady days of the Internet bubble. He became a symbol of corporate hubris when an acquisition spree he spearheaded was followed by near bankruptcy for the former utilities group.

He was convicted for misuse of corporate assets for seeking to obtain a departure payout worth 18.6 million euros without the prior agreement of the company's board of directors.

(Reporting by Chine Labbe; Editing by Mark John, Andrew Callus and Mark Potter)

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