VINCENT BOLLORE UPS STAKE IN AEGIS TO 11.38%
Mystery Surrounds Latest Move
BOLLORE UPS AEGIS STAKE TO 8%
Becomes Second-Largest Shareholder
AEGIS IS TARGET OF TAKEOVER TALKS
Suitor Believed to Be Publicis
AEGIS GROUP REPORTS FIRST-HALF REVENUE UP 15%
CEO Declines to Discuss Vincent Bollore Share Acquisition
VINCENT BOLLORE SELLS SHIPPING COMPANY FOR $600 MILLION
Speculation Swirls About His Plans for the Cash
VINCENT BOLLORE ACQUIRES 6% OF AEGIS GROUP
Aegis Owns Carat Global Media-Buying Agency
Statement to shareholders
In a statement to shareholders this morning, Aegis said it met with more than one "potential offeror to share non-public information on the company." Aegis added that there can be no certainty that any offer will be made for the company.
Executives close to the situation identified the interested party as WPP and said it is lining up a bid with private equity firm Hellman & Friedman. It is believed that WPP’s main interest is in Aegis’ research company, Synovate, and that Hellman & Friedman is eyeing Carat, its global media-buying and -planning entity.
Analysts have also cited Omnicom Group as a potentially interested suitor in Aegis. WPP, Omnicom and Publicis declined to comment. Publicis last week confirmed it had discussions with Aegis, but made no offer.
Speculation about Aegis’s future has been mounting since Vincent Bollore, chairman of French advertising group Havas, started building a stake in Aegis in August. This week he increased his stake in Aegis to 12.63%, making him Aegis’ largest shareholder and giving him enough shares to have influence over the future of the London-based company.