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Speculation surrounding Havas-Vivendi merger reaches fever pitch

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By John Glenday, Reporter

April 27, 2017 | 2 min read

Industry gossip surrounding a rumoured merger between French communications specialists Havas and Vivendi has hit a new crescendo in the wake of comments from Havas CEO Yannick Bolloré, which did nothing to dispel the rumours.

Yannick’s father, Vincent Bolloré, just so happens to be chairman of Vivendi. The company's chief executive Arnaud de Puyfontaine said only yesterday that a merger ‘makes sense’ when the issue was broached.

Stoking the fire of speculation further, Y. Bolloré then responded: “We are a cousin company with a common shareholder. And we are both in the communication industry … Content is important to agencies like Havas, and Vivendi of course is one of the best content producers and distributors."

Y. Bolloré then went further, stating that: “Data is important to companies like Vivendi, and Havas is expert in converting data into insight.”

He went on: “Havas is a specialist in consumer science … We know better than anyone how consumer trends are evolving in the different geographies. We have huge knowledge and tools, so of course that's of big interest to a company in the culture industry.”

Last month Yannick denied any knowledge of a decision by Havas UK to axe its Google spend over a furore surrounding exposure to extremist content.

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