Shareholders in Mitchell Communication, Australia’s biggest media planner and buyer (and a few other things besides) have voted to accept quoted media group Aegis’ $360m offer for the business, giving them an estimated five per cent stake in the company which owns Carat, Vizeum and market research outfit Synovate.
On one hand this could be seen as making life more difficult for 29.9 per cent shareholder Vincent Bollore who also owns Havas (especially as Aegis has taken on more debt to buy Mitchell). On the other it means that a combination of Bollore/Havas and founder Harold Mitchell and family would effectively control Aegis, should that be in their interests.
Aegis remains the most desirable property in media buying, the only big group that is not owned by a big four holding company. The Mitchell deal looked like a statement of its independence and desire to retain this status.
But it could just make life rather easier for a holding company predator.