|The Delmas shipping conglomerate, which has just been sold by Bollore Group for $600 million, is France's second-largest shipping company.
VINCENT BOLLORE ACQUIRES 6% OF AEGIS GROUP
Aegis Owns Carat Global Media-Buying Agency
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
VINCENT BOLLORE PLANS FURTHER INCREASE IN HAVAS STAKE
Negotiating Sale of $600 Million Shipping Company to Raise More Capital
DE POUZILHAC IS OUT AS HAVAS CHAIRMAN AND CEO
Vincent Bollore's Triumph Is Capped at Board Meeting
VINCENT BOLLORE ACQUIRES MORE HAVAS STOCK
Expresses 'Surprise' That Havas Chairman Will Not Resign
BOLLORE WINS FOUR BOARD SEATS IN HAVAS STRUGGLE
Alain de Pouzilhac Fails in Quest to Block Raider
In a statement, the Bollore Group said just more than half the transaction will be funded with cash, the rest with debt, and is expected to be in full effect by January 2006.
The sale of Delmas puts more cash at the disposal of Mr. Bollore, who is the largest single shareholder in -- and chairman of -- French advertising company Havas.
Mr. Bollore could not be reached for comment by press time.
After a protracted battle that ended last summer with the resignation of former Havas Chairman-CEO Alain de Pouzilhac, Mr. Bollore was named chairman. He also won four seats on Havas' board.
Mr. Bollore, who is renowned in France for buying minority stakes in publicly traded companies, pushing for management change, then selling his shares for a gain -- sometimes in hostile situations -- has publicly sought to allay concerns that he intends to break up Havas, whose holdings include Euro RSCG Worldwide, Arnold Worldwide Partners and MPG.
Speaking to reporters during the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in Cannes, France, in June, Havas director and longtime creative chief Jacques Seguela said in the days after Mr. de Pouzilhac’s resignation that Mr. Bollore planned to sell Delmas, the shipping company, in order to raise more capital to increase his stake in Havas. Under French law, a shareholder whose stake exceeds 33% automatically triggers a takeover.
Bought into Aegis
In August, Mr. Bollore purchased 6% of London-based Aegis Group, parent of Carat and Synovate, and the last independent media company of significant size. That has led to much speculation that Mr. Bollore may make a play for Aegis, particularly since Havas’ media operation, MPG, is too small to have sufficient global reach demanded today by many global clients.
Speaking during a meeting with investors at a Sept. 6 meeting to announce Aegis’ first-half results, Aegis CEO Robert Lerwill said he has not spoken to the Bollore Group since an initial conversation with Mr. Bollore the day the share acquisition was made. "The only fact is that Mr. Bollore has 6%," Mr. Lerwill said. "Anything else is rumor and speculation that is not appropriate to discuss."
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Emma Hall in London contributed to this report.