Dashing French Lothario Vincent Bolloré, he who wooed a reluctant Havas and other corporate cuties into his extensive harem, on Monday insisted to French financial daily Agefi that he has no wish to possess Aegis Group, the London-headquartered media buying and research beauty.
Despite raising his stake in Aegis yet again (to 14.06%), like Dante for Beatrice, Bolloré is content to love from afar. Aegis, he told Agefi, should remain independent.
"Its chief executive told me that the company could develop without being integrated into one of the sector's 'global players'. I share that analysis, which doesn't prevent us from being ready to definitively fix our position as soon as the [share] movements involving this company are known."
Bollore's belief in Aegis's independence notwithstanding, his acquisition of a further eight million shares in the media group emulates the strategy by which he seized control of Havas.
Although his current Aegis holding is well short of a controlling stake, it places him in a position to block the delisting of Aegis shares - a preliminary to any takeover.
Meantime, Aegis' discussions with Publicis Groupe and Hellman & Friedman continue.
Data sourced from MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff