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Thales must pay Taiwan 500 million – court

A French court ordered defence giant Thales to pay the Taiwanese navy more than 500 million dollars on Thursday, rejecting the group's appeal against a 2010 abritration ruling.

Thales must pay Taiwan 500 million - court

In April last year an arbitration panel employed by two parties to settle their differences found that the French firm had wrongly paid commissions to intermediaries to secure a huge warship contract.

Thales appealed the private panel’s decision in a civil court, but on Thursday its complaint was thrown out, leaving it facing a bill of at least $591 million plus interest and legal fees.

The French defence and electronics firm signed the original contract to supply Taiwan with six Horizon-class frigates in 1991. The deal specifically excluded the payment of sweeteners to go-betweens.

Thales can still appeal the latest ruling – which was based not on a re-examination of the case itself but on the conduct of the arbitration – in France’s top appeal court, the Court of Cassation.

It was not immediately clear whether it would do so.

BUSINESS

France’s Mediawan buys majority stake in Brad Pitt’s Plan B

French media company Mediawan has bought a majority stake in US film star Brad Pitt's production house Plan B Entertainment, it said Friday, in a deal reportedly worth more than $300 million.

France's Mediawan buys majority stake in Brad Pitt's Plan B

Plan B, co-founded by Pitt in the early 2000s with his then-wife Jennifer Aniston has three best picture Oscar winners to its name: “The Departed”, “Twelve Years a Slave” and “Moonlight”.

The deal “marks the deployment of Mediawan into the American market,” the French company said in a press release which did not say how much the deal was worth.

The Financial Times reported the deal had valued Plan B Entertainment at more than $300 million.

“Cinema is becoming international. Talents are emerging all over the world,” Pitt said in an interview with Le Parisien newspaper. “For our future projects, we have to look outside the United States.”

With Mediawan “we have the same conception of how to produce films and series,” he added.

In a press release Mediawan CEO Pierre-Antoine Capton said the deal was “an exceptional opportunity to be able to develop Mediawan alongside Plan B, the most beautiful independent production company in the US.”

Founded in 2015 Mediawan produces and distributes films, series and streaming shows and has recently snapped up several production houses across Europe.

It produced the hit Netflix show “Call My Agent.”

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