PARIS, Aug 31 (Reuters) – French publishing and media group Lagardere LAGA.PA mentioned on Monday it had rejected a request made by activist fund Amber Capital and Vivendi VIV.PA to carry a unprecedented common assembly.
“The supervisory board has examined the joint request by Amber Capital and Vivendi to name a unprecedented common assembly. It considers that the authorized situations required to diverge from the company schedule recognized to all shareholders will not be presently happy”, the group mentioned in an announcement.
“It reiterated that it’s the guarantor of the group’s company curiosity, its independence and its integrity. Accordingly, it has an obligation to protect the group in a selected context the place one of many shareholders requesting the assembly is a direct competitor of Lagardere Publishing”, the corporate added, referring to Vivendi.
Amber has been embroiled in a tug-of-war with the agency’s managers since 2016, because it pushes for a shake-up in its governance.
It has been joined in its efforts for a board revamp by French billionaire Vincent Bollore and the Vivendi media group he controls, which has constructed up a 23.5% stake in Lagardere. Amber, a 20% stakeholder, and Vivendi are asking for 4 board seats between them.
Whereas rejecting their AGM request, Lagardere additionally mentioned its supervisory board had “to interact in constructive and composed dialogue with the shareholders”.
Bernard Arnault, who runs luxurious items group LVMH LVMH.PA, is investing within the private holding firm of Arnaud Lagardere, the agency’s managing accomplice – successfully backing the agency and its bosses, which have dismissed Amber up to now.
(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Enhancing by David Gregorio)
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