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Bollore set to outline Havas plans this morning

LONDON - Vincent Bollore, the Havas chairman, is set to outline his vision for the French advertising group at a news conference today, just weeks after he also took his stake in Aegis Group above the 25% mark.

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The conference comes six months after he took over the chairmanship of Havas and is set to spell out where he sees the future of the group, the world's sixth-largest advertising group.

This is likely to include details of a restructure plan as it battles to compete with rivals including Omnicom and Publicis Groupe. It is also speculated that an option under consideration could be a merger between Havas and Aegis.

Chiefly, this would involve bringing together the Havas-owned Media Planning Group with the Aegis-owned Carat and Vizeum media buying operations.

The merger speculation dates back to August, when Bollore began his stock-buying spree in Aegis, which hit 25.05% late last month.

Publicis, as well as WPP Group in collaboration with Hellman & Friedman, were previously in the running to buy Aegis, but have since ruled themselves out. WPP looked most likely to do a deal, but this failed to materialise, leaving the way open for Bollore.

Last month, investor David Herro, who is most famous for leading a shareholder revolt against the Saatchi brothers, told the Financial Times that he believes Bollore is the best hope for Aegis.

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