Interpublic sports units combine

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LONDON -- Sports marketing and entertainment group Octagon is merging two of its companies: Washington-based Advantage International and London-based API Group. Octagon also announced that Alan Pascoe has decided to step down as chairman of API and will leave the company that he founded 15 years ago. Octagon has not decided on a name for the merged company.

Octagon is the sports marketing arm of the Interpublic Group of Companies, the holding company for Ammirati Puris Lintas, McCannErickson Worldwide and the Lowe Group. Octagon bought Advantage International and 60% of API in May 1997. To facilitate the merger of the two companies, Octagon has acquired the remaining 40% of API.

Once merged, Advantage and API will have more than 500 employees in 21 offices covering five continents. Its clients include some of the world's leading sportsmen and women, marketing companies and sports federations.

The new company will be led by Lee Fentress, chairman of Advantage International.

Frank Lowe, chairman and CEO of Octagon and The Lowe Group, says, "After much discussion, Alan Pascoe has decided to concentrate his energy and skills on his own projects."

Mr. Pascoe says he has "decided to take the opportunity to concentrate on creating a specialist boutique approach with several high-level strategic projects that I have had little time for during the past 10 years while building and administering APL."

Copyright May 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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