Vivendi wins decade-long Argentina legal battle

Reuters | August 22, 2007

Vivendi wins decade-long Argentina legal battle

PARIS, Aug 21 (Reuters) — French media and telecoms group Vivendi said on Tuesday it had been awarded $105 million in compensation at the end of a decade-long dispute with Argentinian authorities about a former water concession.

The government of the northern province of Tucuman and Vivendi have been feuding since 1997 when Aguas del Aconquija, a local Vivendi subsidiary, withdrew from a 30-year water and sewage concession after accusing Tucuman of changing the terms.

"The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) determined that acts of provincial officials violated rights of Vivendi, its subsidiary and the treaty between France and Argentina that protects foreign investors in both countries," Vivendi said in a statement.

The ICSID was set up by the World Bank in 1966 to arbitrate in foreign direct investment disputes.

Since the dispute started, Vivendi’s water and environment businesses have been spun off into what is now called Veolia Environnement , but Vivendi had kept the Argentine subsidiary on its books because of the legal battle.