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Backlash at Vivendi buyback vote that could boost Bolloré’s stake

Harriet Agnew in Paris

A corporate governance specialist and a prominent activist investor have urged shareholders to vote against a resolution authorising a 25 per cent reduction in the company’s share capital, a proposal that Vivendi unveiled in February alongside its full-year results. The Bolloré Group, the industrialist’s family holding company, already holds 28.51 per cent of the voting rights in Vivendi, whose assets include Universal Music Group, advertising company Havas, and video games publisher Gameloft. “The problem is that it’s a way for Bolloré Group to control the company without launching a full takeover.