HAVAS' QUARTERLY, FIRST-HALF REVENUE DOWN
New CEO Refuses to Detail Direction of French Ad Company
EURO RSCG CHAIRMAN-CEO RESIGNS
James Heekin Will Be Replaced by a Global Management Team
VINCENT BOLLORE NAMED HAVAS CHAIRMAN
Philippe Wahl Becomes CEO; Strategic Committee Formed
Three Bollore entities
According to the statement, Bollore Group bought 3% of Aegis capital on Aug. 2 and as of today increased that stake to 6%. The shares are spread among three Bollore Group entities: 0.53% held by Bollore Participations; 1.52% held by Nord Sumatra Investissements, and 3.98% owned by Financiere du Loch.
Aegis Group, based in London, is traded on the London stock exchange, and is the world's seventh-largest marketing services organization, with worldwide revenues of $1.4 billion, according to Ad Age figures. Carat, its global media-buying and -planning entity, was founded in France by Gilbert Gross in 1966.
During a conference call with analysts yesterday, Havas' newly installed CEO, Philippe Wahl, refused to answer analysts questions about management's strategy for the company. Pressed about rumors that Aegis Group was in play, Mr. Wahl said only: "We must be opportunistic and work for the good of the company."
Prior to Mr. Bollore's investment in Havas, the company's former management made multiple attempts to bolster MPG, its media-planning and -buying unit. According to press reports, the previous regime, led by ex-Chairman-CEO Alain de Pouzilhac, held discussions with Interpublic Group of Cos. media agency Initiative, but the parties were unable to strike a deal. Later, as tensions between Mr. de Pouzilhac and Mr. Bollore mounted, Mr. de Pouzilhac blamed the uncertainty around Havas' future -- which he pinned on Mr. Bollore -- for Havas inability to improve MPG's situation.
Longtime Carat executive Charlie Rutman took over April 4 CEO of MPG North America. Mr. Rutman, formerly president of Carat USA, was a strong No. 2 to Carat Americas CEO David Verklin, and in that role helped to build Carat's media operations in the U.S. from only a handful of accounts to a serious player, with accounts from Pfizer, RadioShack, Marriott hotels and Procter & Gamble Co.