Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is this case about?

  2. What is a class action?

  3. Why is this case a class action?

  4. Is this a settlement?

  5. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

  6. What was the procedure for filing a claim?

  7. What are acceptable forms of supporting documentation for my claim?

  8. I can't find my documentation. What do I do?

  9. I already participated in the Vivendi SEC Settlement, what does this mean for me if I am a Class Member in the class action?

  10. How do I know if I am a Class Member?

  11. If I am a Class Member and I submit a claim, how much money will I receive?

  12. How was my claim calculated?

  13. What is an ADS? What is an ADR?

  14. I purchased ADSs/ADRs of Vivendi Universal which were converted to Vivendi Universal ordinary shares. Am I considered a Class Member?

  15. I purchased ADSs/ADRs of Vivendi Universal, and I do not live in the United States, France, the Netherlands or England. Am I considered a Class Member?

  16. I purchased ordinary shares of Vivendi Universal. Are these shares eligible under the Court approved procedures?






1. What is this case about?

The Vivendi Securities Class Action is a lawsuit alleging violations of securities laws by Vivendi Universal, S.A., now known as Vivendi S.A. ("Vivendi"). This case went to trial in October 2009, and a unanimous jury verdict was issued on January 29, 2010. The jury found Vivendi liable on the claims against it.

The verdict against Vivendi did not finally decide the particular amounts of damages due to individual Class Members. In order to determine the amounts due, the Court has ordered the implementation of a procedure for Class Members to submit claims so that the Court may determine the amount of compensation due to each Class Member.

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2. What is a class action?

In a class action, one or more people called Class Representatives represent all people who have similar claims (the "Class"). In this case, the Class Representatives are William Cavanagh, Bruce Doniger, and the Retirement System for General Employees of the City of Miami Beach. The court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who excluded themselves from the Class.

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3. Why is this case a class action?

The Court decided that the lawsuit should proceed as a class action because it meets the requirements of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23, which governs class actions in the U.S. federal courts. The Court found that there are common questions of fact and law that predominate over individual questions, that the Class Representatives' claims are typical of Class Members' claims, that there are numerous Class Members, that the Class Representatives and their lawyers will fairly and adequately represent Class Members' interests, and that a class action is a fair, efficient, and superior way to resolve the claims in the lawsuit for purchasers of Vivendi Universal American Depositary Shares ("ADSs" or "ADRs") from the United States, France, England, and the Netherlands.

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4. Is this a settlement?

No. This case went to trial in October 2009, and a unanimous jury verdict was issued on January 29, 2010. The jury found Vivendi liable on the claims against it. The verdict against Vivendi did not finally decide the particular amounts of damages due to individual Class Members. In order to determine the amounts due, the Court has ordered the implementation of a procedure for Class Members to submit claims so that the Court may determine the amount of compensation due to each Class Member. However, this lawsuit is not resolved and defendants still have the right to appeal.

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5. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

The Court approved the New York law firm of Abbey Spanier Rodd & Abrams, LLP, as "lead counsel" for the Class. You will not be separately charged for the services of lawyers representing the Class. If the lawsuit results in a recovery for the Class, the Court will determine the amount of any fees and reimbursement of expenses that may be awarded out of the recovery to lawyers representing the Class. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one to appear for you at your own expense.

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6. What was the procedure for filing a claim?

The Court has established a procedure, under its supervision, for Class Members to submit claims so they can receive their recovery. Under the Court's procedure, counsel for defendant can review and challenge any claims submitted. The claim filing deadline has since passed, and late claims will be administratively rejected and subject to Court approval.

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7. What are acceptable forms of supporting documentation for my claim?

Acceptable forms of documentation include:

  • Purchase and sale trade confirmations obtained from your broker;

  • Monthly, quarterly or year-end broker statements;

  • For individual claim filing, (a) internal broker statements, reports or similar documentation will be accepted provided that it is accompanied by a letter from the broker or financial institution on firm letterhead explaining that it was a business record and maintained in the ordinary course of business, and attesting to its truth, accuracy, and completeness, or (b) an affidavit from the broker or financial institution listing all trades during the class period including quantity of shares held, purchased, or sold, trade date and purchase or sale price for each transaction, and that also attests that the information is true, accurate, and complete;

  • Trade runs from your financial institution accompanied by a letter or affidavit disclosing the source of the data, and attesting to its truth and accuracy;

  • Copies of your stock certificates, which can be used to show current holdings

Please do not send originals of any supporting documents. If you have any questions or are unsure about acceptable documentation, please contact the Claim Administrator for assistance.

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8. I can't find my documentation. What do I do?

If you purchased or held your Vivendi Universal ADSs/ADRs through a broker, bank, or other custodian or representative, you should contact that person or firm and request copies of any documentation. If you held your Vivendi Universal ADSs/ADRs in registered form, you should contact the depositary bank, The Bank of New York Mellon (www.adrbnymellon.com), for information or documentation. If you have any further questions, you may contact the Claim Administrator.

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9. I already participated in the Vivendi SEC Settlement, what does this mean for me if I am a Class Member in the class action?

The award of damages in this case is separate from the funds distributed by the SEC to certain Vivendi Universal share purchasers in 2008-2009 in connection with the settlement of claims in the SEC proceeding. Class Members' entitlement to damages in this litigation is not affected by the SEC proceeding or distribution.

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10. How do I know if I am a Class Member?

If you are from the United States, France, England, or the Netherlands and bought or otherwise acquired ADSs/ADRs of Vivendi Universal between October 30, 2000 and August 14, 2002, you are a Class Member in this action.

The definition of the Class includes persons who "purchased or otherwise acquired" Vivendi Universal ADSs/ADRs. That definition includes:

    (a) Any kind of ADS/ADR purchase transaction

    (b) Acquisition of ADSs/ADRs by exercise of an option

    (c) Acquisition of ADSs/ADRs in or by a pension or retirement plan or account

    (d) Acquisition of Vivendi Universal S.A. ADRs/ADSs on December 8, 2000, in exchange for shares of The Seagram Company Ltd., or in exchange for ADRs/ADSs of Vivendi S.A. or Canal Plus S.A.

The Class definition does not include:

    (i) Acquisition of ADSs/ADRs by gift, inheritance, or donation

    (ii) Any purchase or other acquisition of Vivendi Universal ordinary shares

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11. If I am a Class Member and I submit a claim, how much money will I receive?

If you are an eligible Class Member and you submit a valid claim with proper supporting documentation, depending on when you purchased and/or sold your Vivendi Universal ADSs/ADRs, you may be entitled to receive up to $10.00 per damaged ADS/ADR.

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12. How was my claim calculated?

Damages were computed using the daily inflation figures found in the February 2, 2010 Jury Verdict Form. A summary of the methodology applied to calculate your damages and prejudgment interest, as approved by the Parties, under the Court’s supervision, can be found here.

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13. What is an ADS? What is an ADR?

An American Depositary Share (“ADS”) is a security that represents an ownership interest in a specified number of a company’s ordinary shares. An American Depositary Receipt (“ADR”) is a physical certificate that evidences ADSs (in much that same way that a stock certificate evidences shares of stock). ADRs are generally issued by a United States bank, and the underlying ordinary shares are typically ordinary shares of a foreign issuer, which are deposited with a foreign bank or other custodian and segregated from the other ordinary shares issued by the foreign issuer. An ADR holder can generally exchange his or her ADRs for the underlying shares at any time.

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14. I purchased ADSs/ADRs of Vivendi Universal which were converted to ordinary shares. Am I considered a class member?

Yes. ADSs/ADRs purchased or otherwise acquired during the class period between October 30, 2000 through August 14, 2002, inclusive, which were converted to ordinary shares are considered eligible securities. The ordinary shares received due to the conversion will be treated as ADSs/ADRs, pursuant to the Court approved procedures.

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15. I purchased ADSs/ADRs of Vivendi Universal, and I do not live in the United States, France, the Netherlands or England. Am I considered a Class Member?

No. Only persons from the United States, France, the Netherlands, and England who purchased or otherwise acquired ADSs/ADRs of Vivendi Universal between October 30, 2000 and August 14, 2002 are considered members of the Class.

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16. I purchased Ordinary Shares of Vivendi Universal. Are these shares eligible under the Court approved procedures?

No. Only ADSs/ADRs purchased or otherwise acquired between October 30, 2000 and August 14, 2002 are considered eligible securities.

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