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VINCENT BOLLORE ACQUIRES MORE HAVAS STOCK

Expresses 'Surprise' That Havas Chairman Will Not Resign

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Six days after winning a bare-knuckles battle for four seats on Havas' board, corporate raider Vincent Bollore has boosted his stake in the company to 22.01% from 20.39%, according to French newspaper and wire service reports.
Vincent Bollore has won his battle against Alain de Pouzilhac for four seats on the Havas board.
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Vincent Bollore Now Has 20% of Holding Company

Now controls 26%
His holdings, plus the 4% of new ally Sebastian Holdings, puts Mr. Bollore in control of 26% of the advertising holding company's outstanding shares.

Mr. Bollore won four seats on Havas' 18-member board after a raucous, much-followed shareholders meeting in Paris last week. About 72% of Havas' shareholders attended the event -- nearly double the country's average attendance of 40% for such meetings.

In the wake of vote, the continuing friction between Mr. Bollore and Havas' chairman-CEO, Alain de Pouzilhac, is evident. In an interview with French newspaper La Tribune June 14 Mr. Bollore said he was "a bit surprised" that Mr. de Pouzilhac had announced his intention to stay on as chairman and CEO following his defeat. "It's his decision," Mr. Bollore told the newspaper. "Make what you will of it." Asked if he wants de Pouzilhac to leave, Mr. Bollore said, "I've already told him that I didn't request his leaving despite him feeling resentful toward me."

Will not resign
After his vote last week, Mr. de Pouzilhac said he would "bear the consequences" of the election results. He said in a memo distributed to Havas employees June 10 that he would not resign. "I now intend to assume fully my responsibilities," he said, adding, "Please rest assured that my commitment and determination are intact. You can rely on me."

A Havas spokeswoman could not be reached at press time. Havas is the parent of global advertising agency network Euro RSCG Worldwide, Arnold Worldwide and media buying agency MPG.

Mr. Bollore and Mr. de Pouzilhac will meet June 21 at Havas' first meeting with its new board. In addition to Mr. Bollore, the reconstituted board now includes three executives from Bollore SA companies, as well as two new directors, Laurence Parisot and Pierre Bouchut, nominated by Havas.

Opposed 'creeping takeover'
Mr. de Pouzilhac publicly opposed the nomination of Mr. Bollore and his representatives, citing a concern that their unstated goal was to launch a "creeping takeover" without paying a premium price for the company's shares.

Mr. Bollore's spokesman, according to a Reuters report, said Mr. Bollore aims to own between 20% and 30% of Havas. Under French law, a shareholder whose stake exceeds 33% automatically triggers a takeover. Mr. Bollore has in the recent past said he does not intend to do that. His spokesman could not be reached at press time.

Overtake Publicis
Mr. Bollore in La Tribune also spoke about Havas future, saying: "Since we have a great experience as executives in our own group and as administrators and shareholders in other groups such as Mediobanca or Vallourrec, we think we can help Havas' board of directors. Our unique interest is to enhance and develop Havas' business. I am still unable to give an opinion on the precise strategy I want for Havas until I have all the group's data at hand. This company has a wealth of talents and that's why most of its clients are leading worldwide groups. In addition, when I see how Publicis largely overtook Havas in only four years, I think it is possible for Havas to overtake Publicis in the next four years. Havas has great potential."

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