LONDON: Havas chairman Vincent Bolloré has upped his stake in Britain's Aegis Group to 29.86% - just 0.14 per cent short of the point at which he must make a full takeover bid for the media and research giant.

Industry onlookers are divided as to Bolloré's tactics: is he now poised to go the whole hog; or just piling on the pressure to force Aegis into granting the two boardroom seats he has repeatedly demanded?

Most observers believe the latter to be the more likely option.

The French financier snared Havas using similar tactics in August 2006. It was shortly after this that he trained his crosswires on Aegis.

Spokesfolk from the Bolloré bunker declined to comment on the reasons for le maître's latest share purchase. Under UK stock market rules, Bolloré must launch a full bid if his holding reaches 30%.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online. additional content by WARC staff