Report: No Executive Life Settlement

December 2, 2003

Efforts to reach a settlement in the Executive Life case have reportedly reached a dead end, after the parties failed to find common ground on Monday. (See IJ Web site Dec. 1)

According to an article released by Agence France Presse, the negotiations are still blocked by the refusal of prosecutors in the LA Attorney General’s office to agree to include Fran├žois Pinault and his holding company Artemis S.A. in the agreement. Also at issue is whether former Credit Lyonnais CEO Jean Peyrelevade will be included, as well as other executives involved in the case.

The report indicated that the amount of money offered to settle the criminal charges apparently remains unchanged from the $585 million agreed last September. The bulk of that, a $100 million fine and a $375 million deposit to cover civil damage claims, will come from the French government, which earlier rejected the deal as Pinault, who has close links to French President Jacques Chirac, wasn’t included.

According to the AFP report, Pinault has offered an additional $185 million to settle the charges against Artemis and himself, most of that amount would fund payments of the civil lawsuits. Prosecutors apparently rejected the offer, and have given Credit Lyonnais and the French government until today to decide whether or not they will accept the settlement without Pinault.

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