NEWS25 May 2007

‘No surprise’ as Aegis rejects fourth Bolloré board bid

Nominations defeated again as Aegis board cites conflict of interest

Aegis shareholders have once again voted against board nominees put forward by the group’s biggest shareholder, Vincent Bolloré.

It is the fourth such defeat for the Bolloré Group’s nominations in less than a year.

The Aegis board argues that Bolloré’s position as chairman and 25% stakeholder of ad group Havas – which owns Aegis competitor the Media Planning Group – represents a conflict of interest.

At the group’s AGM, 59% of votes cast were against Bolloré’s nominees – Philippe Germond and Roger Hatchuel – being appointed to the board. According to Aegis, 95% of votes not controlled by the Bolloré Group were cast against the nominations. In all four votes so far, more than 90% of non-Bolloré Group shareholders have voted against the nominations.

Colin Sharman, chairman of Aegis, said: “The outcome of today’s AGM is not a surprise. Shareholders have seen no change in circumstances to alter their opposition to board representation for Groupe Bolloré – reflecting the importance they attach to keeping the Aegis Board completely independent of a competitor.”

The Bolloré Group had not commented on the result when Research went to press.

• Synovate, Aegis’ market research arm, reported a 3.5% rise in revenue in the first quarter, or 11.6% with currency changes excluded. Organic growth was 8.7%. The firm said it had a strong start to the year in the Americas and Asia Pacific.

Author: Robert Bain

Related links:

Bolloré gets third ‘no’ vote from Aegis shareholders

Second defeat for Bolloré’s Aegis board ambitions

Aegis shareholders thwart Bolloré board bid