Bolloré's Bid for Aegis Board Seats - Third Time Lucky?

15 February 2007

PARIS: French financier and Havas chairman Vincent Bolloré has obviously taken to heart the maxim attributed to Robert the Bruce, twelfth-century King of Scotland: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, and try again".

Bolloré, the proud but frustrated owner of a dominant 29.9% stake in London-headquartered Aegis Group, said Tuesday he will again call a shareholders' meeting to demand two seats on the UK company's board - a request twice thwarted at previous meetings.

The next meeting is due sometime in the fall but Aegis remains hostile to Bolloré's demand on a "point of principle": that he is chairman and controlling shareholder of a major competitor.

The Frenchman, for his part, declares it to be "perfectly normal" for a long-term shareholder with a £485 million ($942.9m; €724.04m) stake worth to have nominees on the board.

"C'est normal mais ce n'est pas la guerre," to misquote General Pierre Bosquet's adage.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff