Levallois Perret-headquartered Havas Advertising, planet Earth’s sixth largest agency group, has floated a €350 million ($316.22m; £217.95m) convertible bond on the Paris bourse with the dual aim of beefing-up the structure of its extant debt and funding future acquisitions.

Priced thirty to thirty-five percent above Havas’ present trading range, the prettily-named OCEANE bond did not impress the market and the group’s shares went into freefall, losing 6% of their value before stabilizing at around €8 by close of trading. This is more than 20% below their early-April level.

Havas – holding company for the specialist Media Planning Group, Arnold Worldwide Partners and Euro RSCG Worldwide networks – says the bond issue could be extended to a total of €450m dependant on investor enthusiasm. Among other things it would allow the acquisitive French giant to step up its external growth.

Havas expects to finalize the bond flotation today (Thursday). In best Gallic tradition, it is closed to US investors.

Data sourced from: AdAgeGlobal.com; additional content by WARC staff