'Et Tu Bolloré,' Says Havas

02 May 2005

Havas, the Paris-headquartered global marketing services holding company, on Friday formally rejected a demand by its largest shareholder, Vincent Bolloré, for four seats on its management board [WAMN: 25-Apr-05].

The corporate raider, whose investment company Bolloré Médias Investissements has built a 20.4% stake in the advertising group, made it known last week that his demand for representation on the Havas board will be formally put to the group's annual meeting on June 9.

The 'request' will be unanimously opposed by Havas ceo Alain de Pouzilhac and his boardroom colleagues on grounds that Bolloré has failed to publicly specify his intentions concerning the group - the world's sixth largest by billings according to Advertising Age.

The board "expresses its determination to enable the group, at a decisive turning-point for its activities, to pursue a development founded on its strong and consistent strategy," Havas said.

Furthermore, Bolloré has yet to explain how his draft resolution for board representation would enable investors to make a "fully informed judgment" on the consequences that representation would have on Havas' strategy.

As both sides dig in for the June 9 shootout, onlookers await further strategic maneuvres to gain advantage.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff