PARIS, April 15 Nexans shareholder
Amber Capital said it plans to force a vote on a resolution to
push Chairman and Chief Executive Frederic Vincent off the board
at the cable maker's annual shareholders meeting on May 15.
Hedge fund Amber, which has a 5.5 percent stake and is the
Paris-listed company's fourth-largest shareholder, knows it has
little chance of success but plans to submit the resolution
later on Tuesday in protest against what it sees as poor
performance since Vincent took over the job in 2009, Amber
managing partner Olivier Fortesa told Reuters by telephone.
The resolution will be based on an Oct. 31 request from
Amber to split the chairman and CEO functions, in line with
Anglo-Saxon corporate governance norms, a request which was
denied two weeks later, Fortesa said.
"The worsening of the (performance) situation, which has
accelerated over the course of recent months, is very worrying
and requires urgent action," a draft of the resolution sent to
Shareholders have the power to vote Vincent off the board,
and thereby end his rein as chairman, even though only the board
itself has the power to remove him as CEO.
Fortesa said the performance gap between Nexans and its main
competitor, Prysmian, "has been widening year after
Nexans stock has tumbled by about 44 percent in the past
three years, while Prysmian shares have gained 13 percent over
the same period and the broad STOXX Europe 600 index is
up 16 percent.
"We've tried to alert the board and we have no other choice
but to turn to shareholders and basically force a split of
function by asking for a vote to remove Frederic Vincent as a
board member," Fortesa said.
Nexans' dominant shareholder with 28 percent is Invexans, a
holding company run as a separate business from the 70-year-old
Chilean copper goods business Madeco, where it has its roots.
The second- and third-largest shareholdings belong to
Manning & Napier Advisors, a U.S. value fund, and BPI, the
French government investment vehicle, both with just under 8
percent. BPI bought its stake in 2009 to "stabilise and
reinforce" its shareholder base.
A Nexans spokeswoman said: "These issues will be dealt with
at the AGM and the management has no comment to make at this
(Reporting by Andrew Callus and Blaise Robinson; Editing by