Lowe, Ammirati to merge

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Interpublic Group of Cos.' board has approved the merger of Lowe Group and Ammirati Puris Lintas, according to an executive close to the situation. The New York offices of Lowe and Ammirati, with about 300 and 600 employees, respectively, are expected to be combined. Some executives involved with the merger speculate that Co-Chairman and Chief Creative Officer Lee Garfinkle will add his name to the newly merged shop. An announcement is expected later this week. The future of Ammirati Chairman-CEO and Chief Creative Officer Martin Puris is uncertain; it's expected he'll leave Ammirati. There are still some conflict issues to be ironed out: Lowe handles Henkel and Toyota Motor Europe, while Ammirati has Unilever and General Motors Corp. Lowe's San Francisco office has Sun Microsystems, whose low-end computers compete with the higher-end models promoted by Dell Computer Corp. agency Ammirati. Executives at the two agencies couldn't be reached for comment at deadline.

Copyright October 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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