Active Value Fund Managers, run by corporate raiders Julian Treger and Brian Myerson, on Thursday upped its stake in troubled agency conglomerate Cordiant Communications and now hold 9 per cent of the group.
The duo have made it known they seek changes in Cordiant’s management and, as a first step toward this end, are poised to increase their stake to 10%. This will enable them to call an emergency general meeting of shareholders.
Their concerns will not fall on deaf ears, Cordiant investors having impotently watched the value of their holdings decline by 70% over the past twelve months.
Among the demands likely to be tabled by Treger and Myerson is the hiring of a muscular chief operating officer to work in tandem with ceo Michael Bungey. They may also call for the removal of veteran adman Charles Scott as Cordiant chairman.
The money manipulators’ longer term aim is not thought to be the enhancement of shareholder value to the greater good – but to engineer the acquisition of Cordiant by one of the larger global agency holding companies - probably Havas [once its coffers have had the Botox treatment].
Stockbroker Teather & Greenwood, which on Thursday issued a ‘sell’ note for Cordiant stock, believes the group could breach its banking covenants if its revenues fall 10% this year. Says entrail-raker Jonathan Barrett: “Any significant client losses or operational problems could send it quickly into the danger zone. They are sailing too close to the wind.”
“Inaccurate,” responded a Cordiant spokesperson to the T&G assessment, adding that the company had received no word from Treger and Myerson that they were unhappy with its management track record.
At 08.50 GMT this morning (Friday) Cordiant shares stood at £0.555 ($0.85; €0.87)
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff