France ups pressure on Alcatel-Lucent over job cuts
Megan France contended that her ex-husband delayed monthly alimony payments and failed to make a $3 million installment promised under the separation agreement. In court files, France argued that he wasnt required to pay the $3 million because his wife breached the agreement. Last month, the two agreed to end their court dispute, their lawyers say. The parties have voluntarily dismissed all pending litigation and amicably resolved all existing disputes on confidential terms that are consistent with the best interests of their children and their respective families, John Stephenson, one of the lawyers representing Brian France, wrote in an email to the Observer. There will be no further public comment about these private matters. For years, much of the legal fight was hidden from the public because a judge sealed the France file. The Observer and news partner NBC Charlotte waged a lengthy court battle to open the file, finally winning in May . The news partners argued that France had no compelling interest that supersedes the publics right to open courts and files. The unsealed documents showed that Brian Frances assets totaled more than $550 million in 2005 and that NASCAR paid him more than $9 million in 2004. The records also shone light on a contentious divorce. Brian France hired private investigators to keep an eye on his wife, the documents show. Megan France also alleged that her ex-husband threatened to financially devastate her. But the details of the recent settlement will not be made public, the lawyers said. Like many court settlements, it involves a confidentiality clause.
Brian and Megan France settle lengthy court fight
Although their divorce was final in 2007, France filed a lawsuit in September 2008 alleging that Megan broke the terms of their divorce when it came to visitation rights, the hiring of nannies and the confidentiality clause. NASCAR chairman Brian France (AP Photo) MORE: France deals with credibility crisis | Sponsor questions NASCAR’s integrity Because he contended she broke the terms of the divorce, he had withheld $6 million in payments, according to court documents. The lawsuit, filed in North Carolina District Court in Charlotte, was dismissed Sept. 26, according to the clerk of court docket database, although the actual order of dismissal wasn’t immediately available from the clerk’s office. “The parties have voluntarily dismissed all pending litigation and amicably resolved all existing disputes on confidential terms that are consistent with the best interests of their children and their respective families,” Brian France attorney Johnny Stephenson said in a statement. “There will be no further public comment about these private matters.” The case file showed the massive wealth of Brian France, who succeeded his father as Chairman and CEO of NASCAR in 2003. In 2005 at the time of their marriage — the second between them — Brian France listed assets of $554 million and loans of $26 million, according to documents in the case. He earned $9.05 million in 2004 as NASCAR chairman and CEO. As part of the divorce, Megan France kept a $3.2 million Charlotte home and a $2 million vacant lot. Megan France argued in the case that Brian was not as involved in the life of their children as he should have been and had held back payments for some prep school fees for her daughter from a previous marriage. OLDER
RELATED PARIS: The French government warned telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent it could block any restructuring plans for France unless it negotiates with unions to save as many local jobs as possible. The group unveiled plans to cut a total 10,000 jobs worldwide, including 900 in France, warning the cuts were the last chance to stem years of losses and turn the company around. President Francois Hollande’s government, facing rising unpopularity over high unemployment, criticized the plans and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault suggested it could use recent labour code changes to block any moves in France. “If there is no majority agreement (with unions) the restructuring plan won’t be accepted, because the law now gives the state the responsibility to act,” Ayrault told Europe 1 radio. “We want a negotiation that saves as many jobs as possible, as many sites as possible,” he said, calling on Alcatel-Lucent to review a plan which at present foresees the closure of two sites and the possible sale of others. The stock had risen more than 80% in the three months leading up to Tuesday’s announcement and remains up around 170% since the start of the year. Under a labour law which came into force in June, the government must check to see whether any accord signed with unions adheres to regulations or not. If there is no deal, the state will proceed to an in-depth check of the company’s restructuring plan, including an assessment of whether it is appropriate given the group’s assets and economic health. Either way “if there is no approval by the administration, the company cannot fire people,” a labour ministry official said by telephone. However CGT union representative Stephane Dubled played down the government’s margin of manoeuvre, saying past experience showed governments were reluctant to get directly involved and that the new law was too recent to assess its reach. “The state has some power in as much as it decides to use it … but there hasn’t been much experience of that so far,” Dubled told Reuters.