After his most recent share purchases, Mr. Bollore, who is chairman of Havas' board of directors, now owns 32.8% of Havas' stock. Under French law, shareholders with a 33% ownership are required to make a full takeover bid.
Mr. Bollore, who is also the largest shareholder in Havas' rival holding company Aegis Group, has shown an interest in putting together Aegis, whose biggest unit is the Carat media-agency network, and Havas' own media division, MPG. He has been pushing for two seats on Aegis' board of directors, but has met opposition because Aegis board members view it as a conflict of interest. Mr. Bollore has run into a similar ceiling with a U.K. law. If he ups his stake in Aegis, he'd have to make a takeover bid.
In the last vote in May, Mr. Bollore's two candidates were rejected by 95% of non-Bollore Group shareholders.
Havas CEO Fernando Rodés Vilà has acknowledged there is logic in the match up of the Havas and Aegis, but he has said more dialogue between the two holding companies is needed before any merger could take place.
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