Lagardère SCA has received a letter from a lawyer acting on behalf of a number of companies in the Crédit Mutuel group.
In this letter, he threatens Lagardère SCA with an action in the Paris Commercial Court seeking annulment of the mandatory exchangeable bonds (redeemable for EADS shares) issued by Lagardère SCA in April 2006.
However, he says that the Crédit Mutuel group companies would be prepared to suspend their action if Lagardère SCA were to consider it “appropriate to enter into negotiations”(!).
This strange approach has no legal relevance, in a number of respects:
- The Crédit Mutuel group companies appear to have contracted forward purchases of EADS shares from one of the subscribers to the mandatory exchangeable bonds issued by Lagardère SCA; they therefore have absolutely no contractual relationship with Lagardère SCA.
- On the one hand, the plaintiff companies rely exclusively on the AMF report; and on the other, they improperly assume that Lagardère SCA will be found guilty of insider dealing, even though no such verdict has been pronounced.
- And yet, as the AMF Chairman has specifically stated, this report does not affect the presumption of innocence. It is largely for this reason that the report is governed by confidentiality obligations that prevent use of it by any third party.
The Lagardère Group will not yield to these Crédit Mutuel group threats.
The Lagardère Group is an international market leader in the media sector (books, press, audiovisual, distribution of cultural and entertainment products, and sports rights). The Group also has a 12.51% stake in EADS.
Lagardère shares are listed in Paris on Eurolist by Euronext – Compartment A.