Jean-Marie Messier, self-styled visionary and architect of the rapid $77 billion Vivendi/Canal+ expansion in the late 1990s, and Edgar Bronfman Jr, currently running Warner Music, were found guilty in a Paris court on January 21st of insider trading and misleading investors. Messier was also found guilty of an abuse of company funds.
Messier was handed out a 3-year suspended jail sentence and a €150,000 fine. Bronfman received a 15-month suspended sentence and a €5 million fine. Both said they will appeal the decision. Eric Licoys and Guillaume Hannezo, both Vivendi Universal senior staffers alongside Messier were also found guilty and received suspended sentences.
Messier was fired from Vivendi in 2002 having pushed the company to the very brink of bankruptcy. Messier was fined €1 million by France’s financial service regulator in 2004.