In what looks increasing like a rerun of the Havas story - when corporate raider Vincent Bolloré remorselessly edged his way to a 22% commanding stake in the Paris headquartered agency holding company - the foxy French fiscal grappler is now within a hair's breadth of repeating that feat with London-headquartered Aegis Group.
It was reported Friday that Bolloré's Aegis stake has now reached 20.8%. Unlike the Havas saga, however, when he made no secret of his boardroom ambitions, the Frenchman continues to insist his buying spree is merely a financial investment.
Few believe that tale. Some media observers see Bolloré's manoeuvrings as a chess battle with WPP Group's Sir Martin Sorrell, who - along with US private equity Group Hellman & Friedlander - has also expressed an interest in Aegis.
Neither man, they say, wants to win Aegis - simply to prevent the other from doing so.
Data sourced from mad.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff