Aegis enters into exclusive discussions with Ipsos over Synovate sale
Aegis Group has confirmed that it is in "exclusive" discussions with market research company Ipsos over the £500m sale of its research arm Synovate.
Vincent Bollore: Havas chairman holds 26.5% stake in Aegis Group
The UK marketing services company had already announced that it was in talks with Ipsos, but was also understood to be in talks with several potential partners, including private equity firm Cinven.
In a statement, Aegis said: "Further to the announcement on 6 June 2011, the board of Aegis Group confirms that it is in exclusive discussions with Ipsos in relation to a potential sale of Synovate.
"There can be no certainty that any agreement will be reached. Further announcements will be made as appropriate."
The talks will further speculation about Aegis Group’s largest stakeholder, Havas chairman Vincent Bollore, the French industrial magnate, regarding his intentions for his 26.5% share of the business.
In 2005, WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell expressed an interest in acquiring Synovate should it be placed on the open market. He has since reversed that decision, insisting at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity last week that his company was not interested in making a bid for the company. Rival Publicis has also said it will not table a bid.
Synovate accounted for £572.6m of the £1.46bn in revenues that the Aegis Group recorded in 2010, with the rest coming from the media planning and buying core of the business, Aegis Media.
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk
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