Aegis Group: Is Bolloré Poised to Strike?

13 January 2009

LONDON: Word around London adland's parish pump is that French corporate raider Vincent Bolloré is planning his long-expected bid for Aegis Group with a starting price of around £0.90 per share.

His holding company Groupe Bolloré is currently sitting on 29% of Aegis' voting equity – marginally below the mandatory bid threshold.

The latest bid rumour was sparked by a usually reliable source, dealReporter, a unit of the Financial Times that provides global proprietary intelligence and analysis to hedge funds, prop desks and institutional fund managers.

But according to dealReporter's "two sources", the recent rise in Aegis' share price could delay the launch of a formal bid. Any decision to press the green button is unlikely before the end of February.

Since the ousting of former Aegis ceo Robert Lerwill – an implacable opponent of a sellout to Bolloré – the rumour mill has been in overdrive. 
Moreover, new Aegis chairman John Napier, Lerwill's executioner, is seen as an agent of change and is said to enjoy a far cosier relationship with the Bolloré camp than his predecessor Lord Colin Sharman.

Data sourced from M&M Global; additional content by WARC staff