Havas chairman Vincent BollorÈ (pictured) believes that rival media group Aegis needs Havas rather than the other way round. BollorÈ, who is also the largest shareholder in Aegis, made the claims at Havas’ annual general meeting this week.
He added that there is “a real strategic logic” in the two groups working together and that the two companies would benefit from working together. He raised the possibility of creating a closer working relationship.
BollorÈ, who owns his stake in Aegis through his Groupe BollorÈ investment company, told the AGM that Havas was “a bit weak” in media buying and that an agreement with Aegis would be “highly favourable” for the French group. But he warned that Aegis had “more of a problem with its future without Havas than Havas without Aegis, as it will be swallowed up by one of the big groups”.
Bollore’s comments are likely to rile Aegis’s other shareholders who want the media company to remain independent. Groupe BollorÈ owns a 29% stake in Aegis, close to the 30% threshold that would require him to make a full takeover bid for the UK group.
Last month shareholders rebuffed BollorÈ a fourth bid to gain representation on the Aegis board. Proposals for two Groupe BollorÈ representatives to the Aegis board were opposed by 95% of non-group shareholders.