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October 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

French media giant Vivendi has agreed to buy the 20 percent stake in France’s Canal Plus France that it does not already own from media group Lagardère for $1.4 billion in cash. The deal would end four years of bickering between the two companies over the value of the French pay-TV company. The deal was reached after the two sides began meeting with a court mediator in June. Each side had sued the other over administrative issues. In a joint statement today (Tuesday) the companies said that they will continue to work together on program production and satellite distribution. In a related matter, an appeal hearing began in Paris on Monday in the case of former Vivendi boss Jean-Marie Messier, who was convicted of mismanagement and misappropriation of corporate assets mostly related to the company’s disastrous acquisition of Universal Studios in 2000. By 2002 Vivendi Universal posted nearly $1.7 billion in losses, the largest loss ever by a French company. Messier was forced to resign, receiving a $25-million golden parachute as he stepped away. He is asking the appeals court to overturn a three-year suspended sentence and $200,000 fine handed him in 2011.