Bolloré Gets 3rd Crack at Aegis’ Board

NEW YORK Vincent Bolloré next month gets a third chance to place two of his associates on Aegis Group’s board of directors.

Aegis confirmed today that it would hold an extraordinary general meeting on April 4, at the request of Bolloré, who owns a 29 percent stake in Aegis, in addition to being chairman of rival agency group Havas.

Bolloré will once more propose nominating Phillippe Germond and Roger Hatchuel to Aegis’ board.

Shareholders defeated identical proposals in June and November of last year. In both cases, 58 percent of the vote went against Bolloré. More than 90 percent of the votes not controlled by Bolloré were cast to defeat the measures.

Bolloré has consistently argued that his level of ownership demands board representation.

Aegis’ management has said it would be a blatant conflict of interest for Bolloré, as leader of Havas, to be privy to Aegis board strategy sessions and other activities.

In a statement, Aegis again urged stockholders to block the nominations, noting that nothing has changed since the last vote. “We are disappointed that one shareholder continues to disregard the consistent view of the overwhelming majority of other shareholders,” said Aegis chairman Colin Sharman. “We regret that Group Bolloré is once again prepared to waste not only Aegis’ but other shareholders time and money.”

Bolloré has made no secret of his desire to somehow combine the media operations of Aegis and Havas.

London-based Aegis is the parent of Carat, Isobar and Vizeum, among others. Paris-based Havas owns Arnold, Euro RSCG and MPG.