Aegis Group, owner of the worldwide Carat media planning and buying network, is “highly geared into any cyclical recovery and should play a part in any further consolidation within the sector,” opined entrail-raker ABN Amro. The markets responded in Pavlovian fashion, lifting the value of Aegis stock opvernight by 3%.

Carat, which last week snapped-up the £280 million Hyundai USA media buying business, has been seen as a prime takeover target ever since Havas pulled out of the contest with WPP Group to acquire Tempus [WAMN: 13-Sep-01].

At that time, Aegis chief executive Doug Flynn said any bid would meet with robust resistance: “It [a bid] is going to solve someone else’s problem. We are going to grow faster than advertising conglomerates over the next five years.”

News source: BrandRepublic (UK)