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Vivendi wins dismissal of GAMCO fraud suit from Messier era

Former Vivendi head Jean-Marie Messier arrives for the opening ceremony of the 64th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes May 11, 2011. REUTERS/Jea
Former Vivendi head Jean-Marie Messier arrives for the opening ceremony of the 64th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes May 11, 2011. REUTERS/Jea

PARIS (Reuters) - Vivendi said a New York court had dismissed securities fraud claims made by GAMCO Investors related to the 2001-2002 period when the group verged on bankruptcy under former chief executive Jean-Marie Messier.

GAMCO Investors is a small group of investors who pursued a separate legal case against Vivendi and did not join a class-action lawsuit that Vivendi lost in 2010.

"The Federal Court dismissed GAMCO's claims as a whole on March 1, determining that GAMCO did not rely on the integrity of the market price in making their purchases of Vivendi stock and that they would have made those purchases notwithstanding the existence of an alleged liquidity risk," Vivendi said in a statement.

A Vivendi spokesman said the group could use similar arguments that the court validated in the GAMCO case in its ongoing class-action claims process.

"In the claims process that is now underway in the class action, Vivendi may make similar challenges to the claims of individual shareholders as appropriate," Vivendi said.

(Reporting by Leila Abboud; Editing by James Regan)

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