Bolloré makes plea to Aegis head

In a letter sent yesterday, M. Bolloré said it was his right as the largest investor to request boardroom representation, claiming the election of his two candidates would be in the interests of "shareholder democracy and ... all those who work at Aegis".

He wrote: "Shareholders who invest and risk their money ought to be able to be represented on the board. Any attempt to deny this would be contrary to the fundamental principles of good company practice."

But in an announcement to the stock exchange, Lord Sharman urged Aegis investors to reject M. Bolloré's proposals at Wednesday's annual meeting, saying they "present a severe conflict of interest".

M. Bolloré may not need the support of additional shareholders if turnout is low. He owns a 25 per cent stake in Aegis and chairs its French rival, Havas.

Aegis is opposing the nominations - Roger Hatchuel and Philippe Germond - saying having them on the board would be tantamount go giving a seat to competitors.

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