A New York arbitration tribunal ordered Vivendi Universal to pay former
chairman Jean-Marie Messier 20.6 million euros ($23.5 million) in severance -- a
ruling the French conglomerate intends to appeal.
Messier was ousted by Vivendi’s board of directors last July after running up
a huge debt in an acquisition spree that left the French giant on the verge of
At the time of his departure, Messier said the company was required to honor
his U.S. termination agreement, which Vivendi claimed its board of directors
never approved. The two parties agreed to arbitration to settle the matter in
"After reviewing the tribunal findings, Vivendi Universal intends to
challenge this decision through all available legal actions, both in France and
in the United States," Vivendi said in a prepared statement.
The company added that its board of directors will discuss the matter at its
regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.