> Read the 6-page statement (Microsoft WORD format).
The companies also announced the creation of a long-term partnership between Dentsu, Japan's largest ad agency, and Publicis. Dentsu currently holds a 20% stake in Bcom3.
The statement, released simultaneously in Paris, Tokyo and Chicago, said Publicis will acquire 100% of the capital of Bcom3 for $3 billion in stock and equity-linked securities.
Publicis headquarters will remain in Paris. Maurice Levy will continue as Publicis' chief executive officer. Roger A. Haupt, currently chairman-CEO of Bcom3, will become Publicis' president and chief operating officer.
The statement said as a result of the merger, Publicis' global operations would have 38,000 employees and revenues of $4 billion.
Bcom3's holdings include Leo Burnett Co.; D'Arcy, Masius Benton & Bowles'; Manning Selvage & Lee; Bartle Bogel Hegarty; and the Starcom MediaVest Group. Clients include Philip Morris Cos., McDonald's Corp., General Motors Corp., Procter & Gamble Co. and Diageo.
Chicago-based Bcom3 was formed by the merger of the Leo Group and the McManus Group in February 2000. After the merger, the holding company had planned to go public, but in March 2001, with the economy souring, Bcom3 backed off from pursuing an IPO.
At the time, when asked whether the company was considering the option of being acquired, a spokeswoman said, "We are still intending to go public."