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Activist hedge funds win first victory in France

Reuters- Activist hedge funds have struck their first victory in France, building on successes in Britain and the Netherlands, where their aggressive tactics have forced several companies to bend to their will.

Centaurus Capital and Pardus Capital Management got their way at French IT services company Atos Origin on Wednesday, with the ouster of chairman Didier Cherpitel and appointment of Jean-Philippe Thierry as chief executive and the creation of a strategy committee.

The hedge funds had been at odds with Atos management for months, culminating in the company adjourning its annual shareholders’ meeting last week to prevent a vote on the funds’ proposals.

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