Vivendi wins Polish appeal over PTC stake

19 Jan 2007

Vivendi has won an appeal at Poland’s Supreme Court in a dispute over the ownership of a 48% stake in wireless network operator Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (PTC). Vivendi and Deutsche Telekom have been at loggerheads over a deal which saw the German company acquire Elektrim’s equity in PTC late last year. However, Poland’s Supreme Court has now overturned a March ruling by the Warsaw Court of Appeal and as a result calls for Deutsche Telekom and Elektrim to ‘recognize Vivendi’s rights to the PTC Shares’.

The long-running dispute centres around whether Deutsche Telekom had the right to exercise a call option on the disputed 48% of PTC. Vivendi maintained Elektrim was not permitted to sell the stake, arguing that it did not belong to Elektrim, but rather to Elektrim Telekomunikacja (also known as Telco), a holding company in which Elektrim and Vivendi owned stakes.

Vivendi is quoted by Reuters as saying that it plans to continue all earlier legal proceedings, not only in Poland but in other countries including France, Switzerland, Britain and the United States, where it aims to ‘assert its rights to the PTC shares and recover damages for the harm it has suffered.’ Last year Vivendi filed a complaint in Washington state against Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile, under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations (RICO) Act, in which it accused the German company of illegally appropriating Vivendi’s USD2.5 billion investment in PTC.