Shareholder meeting

Posted in Mandriva, English at 6:02 pm by François Bancilhon

On Friday, May 25, we held our general meeting of shareholders. It was held at Mandriva headquarters, as it is since we have a room large enough to hold the participants. Shareholder meetings usually gather 30 to 40 people. Most of them are small shareholders, most of them support open source in general, Mandriva in particular.

These meetings follow the formal process of shareholder meetings: our auditors are there, our lawyers are there (but they were not this time), someone checks at the entrance that only shareholders participates and registers the number of votes carried by each attendant (either directly or through proxy). This is an expensive operation each time (50 to 60K€), which is why we limit as much as we can their occurrence.

As we do every time, we first went through a general presentation of the company situation. Then we went through the tedious process of approving all the official resolutions.
The general presentation went on for quite a while. There were many questions and discussions.

  • Arnaud Laprévote and Sébastien Lefebvre, the two managers of Linbox, were there. They represented their company and answered a bunch of questions on how they would fit in the global Mandriva picture.
  • Laurent Cadieu represented Occam, our new key shareholder. He explained why they invested, what they expect, how they will be involved. Laurent also replied to a whole bunch of questions.

There were also many questions on the company situation, the numbers and the strategy. People were trying to understand what’s going on, why the results are what they are. There were many questions “why don’t you do this and that?”. Mandriva is a company for which many people have ideas on what to do and not to do.

For instance, a common question is “why don’t you sell computers with Mandriva inside”. It’s a valid question: if FNAC, Carrefour, Walmart and Fry’s were all selling PCs with Mandriva, we would make a bit of money every time and our problems would be solved. The answer is: we’ve tried many times. It involves an hardware manufacturer and a consumer channel. We have had a few of those (in France, Brazil and Argentina for instance), but they are difficult to organize: you have to convince the hardware vendor, but moreover you have to convince the channel. Then about the idea of selling our own machines on our e-commerce store, the complexity of the process does not justify the small revenue number (and selling hardware is a job in itself).

We also gave our numbers for the last semester (October-March), which were lousy as expected. We will have a formal announcement of those shortly.

Besides a few technical issues (such as changing the nominal value of the stock), here are the important decisions made:

  • We approved the 2005-2006 financials.
  • We approved a first increase in capital of 1.65M€ reserved to Occam.
  • We approved the delegation to the board to organize a second increase in capital open to all shareholders. This will be a maximum raise of 1.6M€. We should open the subscription period in a week or two, and keep it open for about four weeks.
  • We approved the Linbox acquisition and the increase in capital to perform the acquisition.
  • We appointed two new board members, Laurent Cadieu and Marc Goldberg, both of them OCCAM representatives.
  • As French law requires, we proposed to the assembly to vote on 50K€ (roughly) increase in capital reserved to employees (usually boards recommend to vote against, we recommended to vote for).

Thus ends a (way too) long process. We can now go back to our business.

We are now working on a number of changes: cutting costs, focusing more and putting in place a new organization.

I will report on those shortly.


  1. Reinout van Schouwen said,

    May 28, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    Myself I’m a (very) small shareholder, but I haven’t received any communications regarding this for a long time. I suppose my postal address got changed one time too many. Who should I contact about this?

  2. manuell said,

    May 29, 2007 at 10:27 am

    > Who should I contact about this?


  3. CinéPhil said,

    May 29, 2007 at 11:34 am

    En français d’abord car Mandriva est une société française :
    Merci pour ces infos, pas encore très rassurantes (”the numbers are lousy”) mais logiques dans le contexte actuel de la société.

    Que signifie “focusing more” à la fin de ce message ?

    In english :
    Thank you for this news, not yet reassuringly (”the numbers are lousy”) but logical in the actual context of the society.

    What means “focusing more” at the end of the message ?

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