Much of Vivendi U.S. shareholder lawsuit dismissed

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 01, 2012 10:59 AM
Much of Vivendi U.S. shareholder lawsuit dismissed

(Reuters) - Vivendi SA has won the dismissal of much of what remained in a nearly decade-old U.S. lawsuit accusing the French media company of misleading shareholders about its finances in connection with a giant merger.

In a January 27 opinion made public on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell in Manhattan threw out claims by individual shareholders who had bought ordinary Vivendi shares on the Paris Bourse.

The judge cited a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd, that limited the ability of investors to raise fraud claims over the purchase of foreign securities.

Holwell had last February thrown out a majority of other claims in the lawsuit, which was first filed in 2002 and originally estimated at $9.3 billion.

James Sabella, a lawyer for plaintiffs in the case, declined to comment.

(Reporting By Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Derek Caney)