Cordiant stock soars on rumors that True North will buy Bates

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The share price of Cordiant Communications Group, London, jumped nearly 20% today in London on speculation that True North Communications, Chicago, is readying a bid for Cordiant's Bates Worldwide agency network. The U.K.'s Sunday Telegraph reported anonymous "advertising executives in New York say that True North . . . is in talks with CCG and is preparing a cash bid that would value the group at more than $600 million." Cordiant immediately issued a denial to the stock exchange: "CCG notes weekend press comment concerning a possible offer for the company. Since its demerger, CCG has received indications of interest in the company. However, no discussions are taking place that may lead to an offer being made for the company." True North had no comment. In London, Cordiant's share price rose by 23.5 pence to close at 146 pence Monday. The share price of Saatchi & Saatchi, once part of Cordiant before spinning off into a separate public company, rose more than 6% to 130 pence.

Copyright January 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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