Aegis Names the Day, Urges Rebuff of Bolloré's Demands

26 October 2006

LONDON: The high stakes poker game between Aegis Group and its largest shareholder, Havas chairman Vincent Bolloré, took another turn on Wednesday with the media firm's agreement to the French corporate raider's request for an extraordinary general meeting, now scheduled for 22 November.

Aegis also cautioned against Bolloré's manoeuvrings, advising its shareholders to vote against his renewed demand for boardroom representation. It warns that no shareholder should be allowed to exercise "creeping control" without paying a full and fair price.

Bolloré, who holds a 29.3% stake in the international media and research group, has been persistent in his demands for seats on the Aegis board.

This is his second attempt to gain a voice within Aegis, the first being roundly rejected at the company's annual meeting in June. According to Aegis, 94% of non-Groupe Bolloré shareholders voted against the move.

Then, as now, Bolloré proposes two nominees: Philippe Germond, a former Alcatel executive, and Roger Hatchuel, quondam owner of the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

In a letter to shareholders, Aegis urges: "Your vote is ... vital: Every vote exercised against Groupe Bollore's resolutions will increase the hurdle that [it] is required to cross."

Data sourced from AdAge (USA); additional content by WARC staff