Update on the impersonation of VINCI on 22/11/2016
23 November 2016 - Other
On 22 November 2016, at 16:05, VINCI was impersonated in the form of false information being sent to certain media outlets. The false allegations, the source of which is currently unknown, referred among other things to a revision of VINCI’s consolidated accounts for the financial year 2015 and for the first half of 2016 as a result of alleged accounting irregularities, which had resulted in the dismissal of the Chief Financial Officer. The first false press release was followed by two further false press releases, one disseminating a partial denial, and the other containing an anonymous “pseudo-claim” of responsibility.
Having been relayed too rapidly by several press agencies, this false information had a substantial impact on VINCI’s share price as soon as it was broadcast.
VINCI reiterates its denial of these false allegations and confirms all of the financial information distributed to the financial markets to date, particularly as regards forecast revenue and profits for 2016 and its expected financial situation (cf. the press release dated 25/10/2016 and the quarterly information to 30/09/2016).
At this stage of the investigations carried out by VINCI, the Group has not suffered any intrusion of its IT systems. VINCI’s staff have observed all the procedures for the provision of information to the AMF, the financial markets and the press. VINCI has therefore not been the victim of computer hacking, but of impersonation. In fact, e-mail addresses including VINCI’s name were used to mislead the media. The names of the Group’s Communications Director and of the head of the press department were also misused. Finally, a false VINCI website was created on which a downloadable version of the first false press release was published.
Events unfolded as follows:
16:05: distribution of a first false press release to editorial offices.
16:06-16:07: Bloomberg and Dow Jones agencies picked up elements of the false press release.
From 16:10 onwards: the Group’s spokesperson denies the false information to the press agencies. This official denial is immediately repeated by the agencies.
16:15: trading in the shares is suspended after a fall of more than 18% in the share price.
16:19: trading in the shares resumes and the price goes back up to a level close to but lower than that recorded before the distribution of the first false press release. 16:27: distribution of a second false press release containing a partial denial.
16:49: VINCI publishes a written denial on its website.
17:02: distribution of the written denial to the AMF, financial markets and press.
17:15: the Group’s Legal Director calls the AMF.
17:35: distribution of a third and final false press release containing a “pseudo-claim” of responsibility.
Based on this evidence, VINCI has decided to file a complaint against persons unknown.
VINCI is a global player in concessions and construction, employing more than 183,000 people in some 100 countries. We design, finance, build and operate infrastructure and facilities that help improve daily life and mobility for all. Because we believe in all-round performance, above and beyond economic and financial results, we are committed to operating in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. And because our projects are in the public interest, we consider that reaching out to all our stakeholders and engaging in dialogue with them is essential in the conduct of our business activities.