Decision day for Vivendi as Bolloré pushes for double voting rights

Vincent Bolloré

Vincent Bolloré

Vivendi chairman Vincent Bolloré is set to discover today whether he will secure enough votes to double his voting rights within the company under France’s Florange law.

Bolloré has built up his position in the company over the last two months and now holds 14.5% of the company’s shares, up from 5.15% at the beginning of March.

Bolloré is facing opposition from shareholder PhiTrust, which has tabled a resolution opposing the application of the law, which grants double voting rights to shareholders of more than two years’ standing. Companies can secure exemption from the Florange law if two thirds of shareholders oppose its application.

Bolloré recently neutralized the opposition of hedge fund P. Schoenfeld Asset Management to the double-vote application by promising to increase the amount Vivendi pays out to shareholders over the next two years.

Vivendi president Arnaud de Puyfontaine and finance director Hervé Philippe have over the last few days reportedly been busy meeting investors representing about 20% of the company’s capital in a series of road shows, notably in New York and Boston, to convince them to support the move.