'No, No, and Thrice No,' Aegis Stockholders Tell Bolloré

05 April 2007

LONDON: It's just possible that the ever-persistent Vincent Bolloré might at last begin to believe that Aegis Group stockholders are not eager for the company of his two nominees in their boardroom.

Thus it was that a resounding "'No, No, and Thrice No" reverberated around Wednesday's extraordinary general meeting in London.

For a third time the French corporate raider and Havas chairman sought and was refused representation on the Aegis board - despite his 29% stake in the company.

However, the day was not entirely a Mercredi Noir for Bolloré, even though 93% of the votes he doesn't control were cast against him. This was at least a fractional improvement on the 94% of 'noes' he received at the last general meeting.

And on a sunny day with the wind in the right direction, Bolloré can console himself with the thought that with his own 29% of votes taken into account, 43.7% of shareholders want his placemen on the Aegis board.

Speaking before the vote, Bolloré pled: "We want two representatives out of fourteen. No one can argue that we are trying to seek control. In the world many companies have a conflict of interest - British Airways has two seats on the board of Iberia Airlines - we don't believe it [alleged conflict with Havas] is an important argument. The active participation of shareholders is vital to this board."

Data sourced from AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff