SEC upgrades Vivendi probe to formal investigation

SEC upgrades Vivendi probe to formal investigation

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has turned its inquiry into Vivendi Universal into a formal investigation, the French conglomerate announced.

Vivendi plans to cooperate fully with the SEC's probe, which will proceed in conjunction with the ongoing investigation being conducted by the US Attorney's office in the Southern District of New York, the company said in a statement.

The SEC declined to comment, citing its policy that the agency doesn't confirm or deny investigations.

Vivendi revealed two weeks ago that it was the subject of a preliminary SEC investigation.

The company has also been under investigation by the French stock exchange regulator Commission des Operations de Bourse (COB) since July for its accounting practices and the timeliness of its financial disclosures under former chairman, Jean-Marie Messier.

The company has continued to struggle under a debt load of US$19 billion since Messier was replaced by Jean-René Fourtou in early July.

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