PARIS, March 24 (Reuters) – French media group Vivendi
urged shareholders on Tuesday to reject demands by a
U.S. activist hedge fund for a larger payout from the proceeds
of recent asset sales.
Responding to draft resolutions proposed by P. Schoenfeld
Asset Management (PSAM), Vivendi said its existing dividend plan
already “ensures shareholder loyalty”.
PARIS, March 23 (Reuters) – U.S. hedge fund P. Schoenfeld
Asset Management (PSAM) called on French media group Vivendi
on Monday to pay 9 billion euros ($9.9 billion) in
special dividends to boost its share price.
PSAM said in a statement its recommended payout would still
leave Vivendi with 5 billion euros of excess cash that could be
used to “significantly expand its scope of operations”.
PARIS, March 19 (Reuters) – Talks to save the Lafarge-Holcim
cement mega-merger are “progressing well” and will not fail, a
key Lafarge shareholder said on Thursday, joining the French
firm’s beleaguered boss in insisting it must remain a merger of
Three days after news broke that Switzerland-based Holcim
wanted to renegotiate terms, the parties were still
locked in talks about who should be in top management positions.
PARIS/ZURICH, March 18 (Reuters) – Cement makers Holcim
and Lafarge, seeking to save their merger
deal, are discussing a new leadership for the combined group
which would give Lafarge’s boss Bruno Lafont a lesser role,
sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
When the deal was announced in April last year Lafont was
presented as the future chief executive of what would be the
world’s biggest cement maker. But the Swiss side has since grown
dissatisfied with his leadership and financial track record, the
PARIS/ZURICH (Reuters) – Cement makers Holcim (HOLN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Lafarge (LAFP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), seeking to save their troubled merger, are discussing a new CEO appointment to the combined group that would see current Lafarge boss Bruno Lafont in a different role, sources said on Wednesday.
When the deal was announced in April 2014, Lafont was presented as the future CEO of what would be the world’s biggest cement maker, but the Swiss side has since grown dissatisfied with his leadership and threatened to walk away if the issue is not resolved, the people said.
PARIS (Reuters) – Lafarge’s (LAFP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) board was set to meet on Tuesday to consider new, less favourable terms in an effort to save its cement industry mega-merger with Holcim (HOLN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), a source familiar with the situation said.
Switzerland-based Holcim called a halt to the deal in its current form on Monday, pressing for the price and governance to be altered from the original marriage of equals, which calls for Lafarge boss Bruno Lafont to be chief executive of the combined group.
PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Orange will plow 15 billion euros ($15.9 billion) into upgrading networks until 2018 to differentiate itself from rivals in a price war in its domestic market.
Orange, Europe’s fifth-largest telecom operator by market value, also said that it would take until 2018 for its sales and core operating profit to exceed 2014 levels.
PARIS/ZURICH, March 16 (Reuters) – Holcim called a
halt on Monday to its merger with Lafarge, pressing
the French company to renegotiate the deal terms and putting
their plan to create the world’s biggest cement maker at risk.
The deal announced in April 2014 was supposed to combine the
firms on an equal basis. But since then, diverging results,
share prices and a surge in the Swiss franc against the euro
have strengthened Holcim’s position and led its largest
shareholder to press publicly for a revision of the agreement.
PARIS (Reuters) – French telecoms group Iliad pledged to raise operating profit by 10 percent this year after it reached a 15 percent market share in mobile three years after shaking up the market with low-cost, no-contract plans.
Founded and majority-owned by billionaire Xavier Niel, Iliad sparked a price war in mobile in 2012, forcing larger rivals Orange, Numericable-SFR and Bouygues Telecom to cut costs to cope.
PARIS (Reuters) – France’s low-cost telecoms group Iliad upgraded its entry-level broadband offer with the launch on Tuesday of a new, more powerful set-top box but did not cut mobile prices, comforting rivals who had feared the reigniting of a price war.
After Iliad’s billionaire founder Xavier Niel unveiled the Freebox Mini 4K set-top box the shares in Orange rose as much as 4 percent, the biggest gainer in the French blue-chip index <0#.FCHI>. Numericable-SFR climbed 2.7 percent, and Bouygues 2 percent.