Between the Lines: Bollore will not back down

The Aegis board has seen off Vincent Bollore for the second time within five months, but it is increasingly obvious that it will have to reach an accommodation with the Havas chairman (page 3).

Bollore's threat to make a perpetual nuisance of himself until his two nominees are voted on to the Aegis board may seem like total bloody-mindedness.

However, behind his rhetoric lies a genuine sense of grievance. How, he asks, can a company in which he has invested EUR600 million deny him the right to put forward directors whose talents would enhance shareholder value.

Roger Hatchuel and Philippe Germond are at pains to point out that they will never be Bollore's stooges. Nevertheless, the Aegis board can't be blamed for asking how they can be truly independent if Bollore has put them forward.

Bollore's problem is that his old image as a here-today-gone-tomorrow investor is hard to shed. But he is right about one thing. The longer this acrimonious dispute goes on, the more unsettling it will be for Aegis' clients, staff and investors.


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