PARIS, March 5 Vivendi said a New York
court had dismissed securities fraud claims by GAMCO Investors
related to the 2001-2002 period when the group verged on
bankruptcy under former chief executive Jean-Marie Messier.
GAMCO Investors is a group of shareholders that pursued a
separate legal case against Vivendi and did not join a
class-action lawsuit that Vivendi lost in 2010.
The class action and the GAMCO lawsuits allege that Messier
and other Vivendi executives hid the extent of the group's
financial problems in 2001 and 2002 and misled investors about
its real liquidity position
Although the two cases are not related, Herve Pisani, a
lawyer for the French group, said Vivendi could use similar
arguments that the court validated in the GAMCO case to fight
individual shareholder requests for damages in the ongoing
class-action claims process.
Vivendi intends to appeal the class action, but cannot do so
until the judge officially validates the jury verdict, a step
that was delayed by the changing of judges, added Pisani.
"The Federal Court dismissed GAMCO's claims as a whole on
March 1, determining that GAMCO did not rely on the integrity of
the market price in making their purchases of Vivendi stock and
that they would have made those purchases notwithstanding the
existence of an alleged liquidity risk," Vivendi said in a