French legal investigators have raided Vivendi Universal's headquarters as part of a probe into records during the era of former chairman Jean-Marie Messier.

"We can confirm there is a search going on and the company is co-operating completely with the law," a Vivendi spokesperson told Reuters.

Reuters also reported that police had raided the homes of Messier as part of their search for documents.

The authorities are looking into allegations that the company published false financial information in an effort to boost its share price while Messier was in charge. Messier stepped down in July, and was replaced by Jean-Rene Fourtou.

The news of the raid pushed Vivendi shares slightly lower on the Paris stock exchange.

The inquiry into Vivendi's accounts began in October after a group of minority shareholders alleged that the firm put out misleading information in its prospectus for 2001 and 2002.