Shareholders Committee meeting of 25 January 2013
The Committee began the day by analysing the interview with Jean-François Dubos that appeared in Les Echos on December 17, 2012. In this article, the Chairman of the Management Board indicated for the first time publicly that Vivendi’s future lies in the content and media business. Mr. Dubos also met with the Committee members for breakfast and the latter took the opportunity to question him freely on the strategy review, the subsidiaries’ various activities and the group’s market valuation, among other things.
Vivendi’s strategy review
More specifically, in the interview granted to Les Echos, Mr. Dubos stated: “We are not living under pressure. The group is solid and profitable. One thing is certain, we have all the assets to assert ourselves as a European, even global leader in content and media. There is a real growth market in content […]. Vivendi’s future lies in this direction.”
Concerning SFR, he pointed out that “In coming years, we will inevitably witness a shakeup of this sector currently undergoing profound changes. Despite the fact that our subsidiary SFR is suffering at moment, it is still a great company and Europe’s sixth largest operator.” And he continued: “We will choose a solution that offers industrial synergies, creates maximum value and will be accepted by the authorities and the regulator.”
New “Ecole de la Bourse” module
During the morning, the Committee members were given a preview of the new “Ecole de la Bourse” module entitled: “Investors and corporate social responsibility, Vivendi’s example ”.
The Committee judiciously pointed out that the terms “social responsibility”, “sustainable development” and “Socially Responsible Investment (SRI)” might not be understood by all shareholders. It was also suggested – and the suggestion was adopted – that some concrete examples be given of Vivendi’s initiatives in the sphere of social responsibility (e.g. prevention against addiction to video games; the partnership between SFR and Emmaüs, etc.).
Lunch in a relaxed atmosphere with Philippe Capron
After their meeting with Mr. Dubos, the Committee members also had a chance to meet with Philippe Capron, Vivendi’s Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Management Board. They had lunch together and touched on a wide range of issues, including investment policies and the competitive environments of the various business segments, digital technology and the sector’s global giants, the various options available to the group with regard to its strategy review, market valuations of the group’s subsidiaries, debt, etc. Much constructive light was shed, giving the Committee new insight into Vivendi’s strategy review.
Thematic working groups
The afternoon of 25 January 2013 was spent in two thematic working groups, a novel experience for all. The first group dealt with the letter and other printed documents produced for individual shareholders, while the second group focused on the social networks.
For the first working group, the members had answered three questions beforehand: How would you rate the current letter? What should the ideal letter be like? Which documents specifically intended for individual shareholders would you like to see expanded?
When questioned on the ideal letter to shareholders, the members suggested that a section on tax issues be included in the letter along with a glossary of the main financial terms, which could also appear on the Vivendi website. They approved the letter’s new format and stressed that it was important that it reflect the ‘group’ concept, a unifying factor for the various business segments.
For the second working group, the members had previously answered the following questions: What do you do on social networks? Which social network is most appropriate for an exchange-listed group and why? What is your opinion of the Vivendi individual shareholders’ Twitter account? What Twitter account could be used as an example? How could the social networks be interlinked with the website?
The Committee reflected on the risk of redundancy and on how to best structure information between the different social networks and the group’s official website, and stressed the importance of encouraging consultation of the latter.