HAVAS EYES BOARD CHANGES
Move Seen as Way to Rein in Corporate Raider Vincent Bollore
HAVAS STALKER VINCENT BOLLORE MAKES NEW MOVE
Uses 55.1 Million Havas Shares as Collatoral for Large Loan
MAJOR HAVAS SHAREHOLDER UPS STAKE
Vincent Bollore Now Has 20% of Holding Company
Havas last week said it will ask the board to add three additional directors, as well as renew the terms of three directors that are currently set to expire. If all of management's nominations are approved, the board would increase in number from 13 to 16.
Mr. Bollore, who owns 20% of Havas, has, in turn, requested four seats on the board.
In addition to himself, his nominees are employees of companies associated with Mr. Bollore's Bollore Group: Marc Bebon, an executive of Bollore Participations who will represent the interests of Bollore Medias Investissements, the entity in which the Havas stake is held; Cedric de Bailliencourt, who represents Bollore Investissement; and Thierry Marraud, the finance director of multiple Bollore Group entities.
Under Havas' bylaws, the company can have between three and 18 directors, so there's a good chance neither management nor Mr. Bollore will succeed in getting all of their nominees voted to the board.
All the requests will be voted on at Havas' general shareholder's meeting, scheduled for June 9 in Paris.
"I'd be surprised if Mr. Bollore can not get his people on the board," said one analyst who covers Havas. "He's the single-biggest shareholder."
Havas, in a statement, acknowledged receipt of Mr. Bollore's request and said it would be "examined by the Havas board."
No mention of supervisory board
Noticeably absent from the Bollore Group announcement was any mention of a supervisory board. Mr. Bollore last September had proposed the creation of a supervisory board, to be led by a former Havas chairman, Pierre Dauzier, according to reports. That supervisory board was to oversee Mr. de Pouzilhac and the Havas board.
"I was surprised that no board's been mentioned," the analyst said. "That would be a more obvious way of gaining strategic influence over the board."