PARIS May 31 French media group Vivendi
on Friday backed a proposal to name a mediator in the
legal spat with media group Lagardere over their
Canal+ France pay-TV venture.
"Vivendi confirms it has accepted the proposal from
Commercial Court President Franck Gentin to open the way to a
mediation in the lawsuit filed by Lagardere, demonstrating its
goodwill and full confidence," a Vivendi spokesman told Reuters.
Lagardere could not be immediately reached for comment.
Lagardere had said in February it was suing Vivendi for 1.6
billion euros ($2 billion) in a dispute over Canal+ France.
Lagardere wants Vivendi to return the sum to Canal+ France
because it claims Vivendi is making permanent use of the
business's entire cash surplus under a disputed cash management
agreement between the venture and its Vivendi-owned parent.
Vivendi has in turn accused Lagardere of trying to
destabilise it and force it to buy back Lagardere's 20 percent
stake in Canal+ France.
Earlier this month Vivendi, which owns the remaining 80
percent, said the stake was "core" and it was not interested in
selling it to Lagardere.
($1 = 0.7716 euros)
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by David Holmes)