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24 February 2006
The 374 delegates* of Groupama's Regional Mutuals meeting in the General Assembly of the Fédération nationale Groupama, voted unanimously in favour of the resolution authorising the Groupama S.A. Board of Directors to open up the sharecapital of the company, subject however to control remaining with the Regional Mutuals.
*present or represented
Following this extraordinary general assembly, Jean-Luc Baucherel, Chairman of Groupama, declared: “Groupama is determined to safeguard its future and is firmly resolved to continue its growth in the interests of its policyholders, and by keeping its independence. To reach this objective, our Group needed to have a financing source that would enable it to significantly increase its investment capacity, thereby enabling it to pursue its expansion. This has now been achieved, with the potential opening up of the sharecapital of Groupama S.A. The Group will continue to be managed and controlled by the Mutual, the directors of which shall remain the elected representatives of members.”
Since last September, the plan has been widely debated in the Regional Mutuals, the works councils employees concerned have all been consulted and the Boards of Directors of the Regional Mutuals have deliberated on the subject. This decision finalizes an end a process initiated in December 2001 when the Board of Directors requested General Management to prepare for a possible opening up of the Group’s sharecapital by 2005/2006. Since then, the Group has been restructured (in particular through the merger of Regional Mutuals, the simplification of national entities and the introduction of a new form of governance), while profitability has been improved beyond original targets. Conditions were right therefore for the Fédération nationale Groupama, which represents all the Regional Mutuals, to authorise the opening up of the sharecapital of Groupama S.A. should this prove necessary in order to finance future growth.
“This major project will improve the way we operate and the performance of our business lines, thereby benefiting clients, Group staff and, in the future, our shareholders as a whole. It is an essential element in the growth and profitability strategy chosen by Groupama”, commented Jean Azéma, Chief Executive Officer of Groupama. “Opening up the sharecapital is a way of accelerating the implementation of this strategy.”
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