Cordiant Board Rejects Call to Fire Its Management

05 June 2003

The board of beleaguered Cordiant Communications reacted quickly (and predictably) to Tuesday’s call by a major stockholder to fire its senior management in favour of Active Value Fund Management’s own team of housetrained placemen [WAMN: 04-Jun-03].

AVFM, which is backed by German investment bank WestLB and holds 14.1% of Cordiant’s stock, claims it is ready to put up £15 million ($24.46m; €20.86) of a proposed equity injection of £30m-£40m. In return for which it demands the exit of Cordiant’s entire senior management team including David Hearn and Andy Boland – respectively chief executive and finance director.

In a brief statement issued Wednesday night after closure of the markets, Cordiant insisted that its lenders support its current strategy of selling non-core assets whilst the board “evaluates a range of strategic options concerning the future of the remainder of the group”.

“Major clients,” said Cordiant, “have indicated their clear preference for the group to seek an industry partner”. Such potential white knights are already engaged in close discussion – Publicis Groupe and WPP Group – while Grey Global Group is also hovering around the periphery.

Cordiant claimed it had “co-operated with WestLB and continues to furnish them with information to enable them to rework their proposal”, a statement contested by Active Value’s Julian Treger.

“The board of Cordiant has not yet furnished the team with sufficient information to draw up a definitive proposal to refinance the business,” he countered. “The information has distinctly not materialised.”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff