Bull moves on with recapitalisation plan

Shareholders support difficult decision of French server and services company

Groupe Bull is moving ahead with its recapitalisation after shareholders of the French server manufacturer and IT services company voted on Tuesday in favour of the plan.

The company, based in Louveciennes, France, is opening the way to much-needed new capital investment and reducing or writing off outstanding obligations under a plan introduced last November.

The board of directors sought approval for a proposed bond conversion and capital increase from the French stock market regulator, the Autorités des Marchés Financiers (AMF), on Wednesday, the company said. The board decided to move ahead with the plan immediately after the general meeting, at which shareholders agreed to the proposals set out by the board last November.

Bull plans to reduce the value of its existing capital from around €340m ($411m, as of Wednesday) to €1.7m by reducing the par value of existing shares. It will then increase its capital through new investment in two stages. If the AMF gives its approval, the capital increase will take place in the second half of June.

On Monday the board confirmed Gervais Pellissier in his role as acting chairman of the board and chief executive officer, and acknowledged the decision of two other directors, Didier Pineau-Valencienne and Gilles Cosson, to step down. The board thanked them for their work on the recapitalisation plan.

Pineau-Valencienne had earlier said that he was resigning because his mission to push through the refinancing plan was over. He said he had accepted that particular mission as a personal favour to Pierre Bonelli, then chief executive officer of the company, now deceased.

Peter Sayer writes for IDG News Service

Read more on Server hardware