French threat to Aegis

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AEGIS Group, where Peter Scott stands down as chief executive today, has warned that proposed legislation in France could have a severe effect on the already troubled company, writes Jason Nisse.

The French government is considering changes in the law that would bring French media-buying practices more in line with those in the UK. Mr Scott told Aegis shareholders: 'If enacted, the draft law may have a material negative effect on the group's operations in France.'

Aegis's shareholders yesterday voted to approve a refinancing package involving a pounds 19.8m rights issue and debt restructuring. The media group has debts of pounds 60m.

The shareholders were also told that a New York court had rejected attempts by the company to have dismissed a dollars 300m ( pounds 158m) legal action, brought against it by a US sports sponsorship group. The ruling was three days before Aegis's rights-issue document was published on 7 August, but too late to be included.