[london] Cordiant Communications confirmed that the holding company is in "preliminary discussions" about the possible sale of a stake in its Australian operations but wouldn't comment on other disposals (Ad Age, Feb. 3). "The company's position is clear," a Cordiant spokesman said. "It will configure its business to [its] best advantage but will not discuss that in public." Agency executives say likely sales include Cordiant's 77% stake in Hamburg, Germany-based European network Scholz & Friends, and an 80% stake in Diamond Bates, Seoul, which Cordiant bought from Hyundai for $100 million in 1999 in an attempt to make Hyundai a global car account. In Australia, Hyundai is reviewing its $19 million account, with incumbent George Patterson Bates, WPP Group's Singleton Ogilvy & Mather
, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe
& Partners, M&C Saatchi and local shop Principals all pitching.