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; additional content by WARC staff