In the middle of summer, the soap opera about the fate of Arnaud Lagardère at the head of the Lagard * re group is spiced. The two major shareholders of the company that controls the publisher Hachette, duty-free, airports and the media in Europe 1 and Paris Match, combine and put pressure on the son of Jean-Luc Lagardère. They clearly say in the managing general partner of the Lagardère group, whose mandate expires in march 2021 : "Stop we snober ! "It is especially Vivendi that tape of the fist, annoyed by of the financial results catastrophic in the first half," contends a source. Hit hard by the crisis of the Covid-19, which notably affects its activity in Travel Retail (shops in airports and railway stations), Lagard * re has incurred a operating deficit of more than $ 200 million and a net loss of nearly 500 million euros in the first half, a turnover decrease by 38 %, to 2 billion euros.
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In a press release published this Tuesday morning, Vivendi and Amber Capital, which own, respectively, 23.5% and 20 % of the share capital of Lagardère, announced they have signed a shareholders 'pact," in spite of their differences, and in the wake of very poor results announced by Lagardère ". A well-informed source commented : "It can't continue like this. The results are catastrophic, the net debt explodes and Arnaud Lagardère continues to soar as referring to the redemption of the american publisher Simon & Schuster to Hachette. "
What is the future of Arnaud Lagardère ?
Vivendi and Amber require, respectively, one and three members of the supervisory board of Lagardère, which is four out of a total of nine members currently. In all likelihood, the two companies should request the holding of an extraordinary general meeting in order to obtain this representation. However, they weigh set for 43.5 % of the capital, and more than 31 % of the voting rights. Unlike the fund alone, Amber, at the ordinary general meeting of Lagardère in may, so they have the power to change the supervisory board of the Lagardère group. The pact also provides for a clause designed to stabilize the shareholding of Lagardère, with a "right of first offer and a right of reciprocal pre-emption" for five years.
The Vivendi group did not appreciate having been called by Arnaud Lagardère to the rescue against Amber during the last GA, and then to have been informed at the last minute the entry of Group Arnault, Bernard Arnault, within the personal holding of Lagardère. The summer holidays of the latter, which controls only 7.3% of his group, did not announce any rest. Arnaud Lagardère will have to fight on several fronts in order to retain his position as managing general partner in march 2021. One of the options is to accept the end of the structure limited partnership, which allows him to lock down the company against any outside attack in exchange for a position of shareholder inescapable in the capital of the company. Whatever it is, the more the weeks go by, more days of Arnaud Lagardère at the head of his company seem to be counted...
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