In a move to restructure debt and create a war chest for global expansion, Aegis Group has issued unsecured convertible bonds to the value of €150 million ($133.14m;£92.21m). Maturing in 2006, the bonds have a conversion price equating to 25% to 30% of the price of Aegis's ordinary shares at issue date.

Onlookers see the move as a signal that Aegis plans to continue ploughing its own furrow despite a welter of media lip-smacking over its vulnerability to takeover by one of the global agency giants.

In a statement issued Tuesday Aegis announced: “The net proceeds of the issue, after expenses, will be used for a combination of the payment of earn-out obligations of approximately £30m and refinancing maturing bank debt. It will also enhance Aegis's flexibility for funding future acquisitions in line with the group's stated strategy of building its global media and market research businesses.”

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff