© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Vincent Bollore, chairman of Vivendi media group, attends the company's general meeting in Paris
MILAN (Reuters) – Italian prosecutors have closed an investigation into Vincent Bollore and Arnaud De Puyfontaine from Vivendi (OTC 🙂 for alleged market manipulation and obstruction of regulators, the tax police said on Saturday.
According to Italian legal proceedings, prosecutors are now supposed to ask a judge to bring Bollore and De Puyfontaine to justice. A lawyer representing the two men has not yet responded to an email request sent by Reuters for comment.
The Milan Public Prosecutor's Office investigated the then chairman of Vivendi, Bollore, and the CEO, De Puyfontaine, in 2017 for alleged market manipulation because of the French group's stake in the Italian broadcaster Mediaset (OTC :).
Fininvest, the holding company that controls Mediaset, had previously filed a complaint about Vivendi's stake in the Italian broadcaster, accusing it of never intending to enter into a purchase agreement for its pay-TV unit in order to bring Mediaset's share price down to its holdings ambushed.
Vivendi challenged the pay-TV unit's earnings forecasts when it abandoned the pay-TV deal and later bought Mediaset shares to become its second largest investor behind the family of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
In 2017 Vivendi's management announced that it had acquired its stake in Mediaset legally and transparently.
The U-turn in the pay-TV purchase by Vivendi, whose main investor is Bollore, caused Mediaset to demand compensation of several billion euros.
A legal battle has been ongoing since then, while attempts to reach a broader settlement and break the stalemate have so far been unsuccessful.
In Italy, an investigation does not imply guilt and does not necessarily mean that a charge will be brought.
Mediaset declined to comment, while Vivendi was not immediately available for comment.
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the information contained on this website is not necessarily real-time or accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indices, futures) and forex prices are not provided by exchanges, but by market makers. As a result, prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price. This means that the prices are indicative and not suitable for trading purposes. Therefore, Fusion Media is not responsible for any trading loss you may incur as a result of using this information.
Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media assumes no liability for any loss or damage caused by reliance on information such as data, offers, charts and buy / sell signals contained on this website. Please be fully informed about the risks and costs associated with trading in the financial markets. This is one of the riskiest forms of investment possible.