Friday's news that Havas conqueror Vincent Bolloré has built a 6% stake in London-headquartered media and research specialist Aegis Group [WAMN: 05-Aug-05], sent shares in the latter rocketing by 10%.

Aegis is the holding company for global media planning/buying giant Carat; other strings to its bow include market researcher Synovate and second-string media network Vizeum.

Given that Havas' media network MPG has little reach outside Europe and Latin America, Bolloré's new bauble would benefit considerably from an association with Aegis, which boasts a strong presence in the USA and Asia.

As Friday's surge in Aegis' share price indicates, share speculators accord with this view, scenting a forthcoming alliance - even a merger - in the heady aura of the London Stock Exchange.

Having languished at or around £1.13 for the past twelve months, Aegis stock ended the day Friday nudging £1.30 a share.

Data sourced from Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff