French office REIT Gecina has been awarded substantial damages for the unlawful actions of its former chief executive, Joaquín Rivero, after nearly 10 years of proceedings.
Rivero, who passed away in 2016, had been sentenced in 2015 to pay €209 mln for damages caused to the firm under his stewardship.
On 5 December, the Paris Appeals Court issued a ruling acknowledging the expiry of the appeal that had been made by Rivero, paving the way for Gecina to recoup the funds.
Under the settlement agreement, Gecina will receive more than €55 mln of damages in time, representing approximately two thirds of the sums that had been seized during the investigation phase.
The settlement includes a decision over a €86 mln dividends payment due to Rivero through his company Alteco.
The funds had been subject to court-ordered liquidation proceedings in Spain, and a criminal seizure order issued by the judge Van Ruymbecke in 2012 and 2013 as part of the proceedings. A settlement agreement with the court-appointed liquidator of these funds contributed to the ruling in Gecina's favour.
Gecina cited the actions taken by the association for the defense of minority shareholders (ADAM) and Jeancourt-Galignani, Gecina’s former chairman, as decisive in completing the claim.
Gecina was advised by Maitre Versini-Campinchi and Maitre François-Xavier Bourdais, while its works council was advised by Maitre Inchauspé. ADAM and Jeancourt-Galignani were advised by Maitre Géniteau.