A ruling Wednesday by the president of the Paris High Court has blocked Vivendi Universal from making any payments to former chairman Jean Marie Messier.

On June 27 Messier was awarded upwards of 20 million euros by an arbitration court in New York, permitting him to recoup a hefty severance following his ouster last summer.

Vivendi Universal has publicly stated that it would fight tooth and nail against paying anything out to Messier. The conglomerate's stance was strengthened by yesterday's High Court decision, which came after a review by the Commission des Operations de Bourse (COB).

However, as the COB does not have jurisdiction over the New York court, it remains to be seen if Vivendi can avoid payments.

In a statement released Wednesday evening Vivendi said, "This decision has encouraged the company to continue to take all appropriate legal actions to oppose a payment that it considers illegitimate."

On Wednesday, Vivendi presented the US judge overseeing the issue with its appeal against enforcement of the award by the arbitration court. Vivendi said it was also considering other actions in the coming days.