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June 13, 2005, 12:01 a.m. EDT

Bollore, Investment Firm Join Havas Stakes

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PARIS – French investor Vincent Bollore said he is joining forces with investment firm Sebastian Holdings Inc. to create a "stable shareholder for the long term" in advertising firm Havas SA.

The announcement comes on the heels of Mr. Bollore winning four seats on Havas's 18-member board against the recommendation of the advertising firm's management.

Mr. Bollore said his group, Bolloré Investissement SA, signed a concert agreement to combine its 20% stake in Havas with Sebastian Holdings's 4%. Sebastian Holdings, based in Turks and Caicos Islands and controlled by Norwegian executive Alexander Vik, is Havas's second-largest shareholder. The move strengthens Mr. Bolloré's hand in a 10-month tussle for control with Havas Chairman and Chief Executive Alain de Pouzilhac.

The agreement, which lasts two years and compels Sebastian Holdings to sell its stake to Mr. Bollore if the firm chooses to dispose of the stake, lends the most concrete support yet to the financier's claim that he is a long-term investor.

Mr. Pouzilhac has accused Mr. Bollore, who gained fame and fortune in the 1990s through a series of investments that garnered him a reputation as a corporate raider, of only wreaking havoc and helping rivals by shrouding the firm in uncertainty.

Mr. Bolloré said that the move to consolidate his investment in Havas should end the company's current instability.

Write to Dow Jones Newswires editors at asknewswires@dowjones.com

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