French publishing and media group Lagardere has made the decision to reject a request for an extraordinary general meeting proposed by activist fund Amber Capital and Vivendi. The company stated that the legal requirements necessary to deviate from the established corporate schedule were not currently met. Lagardere emphasized its role as the guardian of the group’s corporate interests, independence, and integrity, stating that it has a responsibility to protect the company, especially considering Vivendi’s status as a competitor of Lagardere Publishing.

This rejection comes in the midst of an ongoing battle between Amber Capital and Lagardere’s management that began in 2016. Amber Capital has been seeking to overhaul the company’s governance, and they have enlisted the support of French billionaire Vincent Bollore and Vivendi, who possess a 23.5% stake in Lagardere. Together, they requested four board seats for a board revamp. While Lagardere denied their request for an extraordinary general meeting, the company expressed openness to constructive dialogue with its shareholders.

In a show of support for Lagardere’s management, Bernard Arnault, the head of luxury goods group LVMH, has made an investment in the personal holding company of Arnaud Lagardere, the managing partner of the firm. This move serves as a vote of confidence in Lagardere and its leadership, dismissing the efforts of Amber Capital.

Lagardere holds a significant position in the publishing and media industry, with involvement in book publishing, travel retail, and press distribution. Its rejection of the request for an extraordinary general meeting demonstrates its commitment to stability and the protection of the company’s best interests in the face of external pressures. The ongoing dispute between Amber Capital, Vivendi, and Lagardere’s management highlights the complexities and tensions surrounding corporate governance, particularly when conflicting interests are involved. The outcome of this situation remains uncertain, and it will be fascinating to observe how the shareholders’ demands are addressed and how this will impact Lagardere’s future trajectory.

1. Link 1: Article providing further information on the battle between Amber Capital and Lagardere’s management.
2. Link 2: Details on Bernard Arnault’s investment in Arnaud Lagardere’s personal holding company.