PUBLICIS COMPLETES BCOM3 ACQUISITION

Deal Creates Fourth-Largest Agency Holding Company

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Publicis Groupe today said its acquisition of Bcom3 Group is complete, creating the world's fourth-largest advertising holding company.

"It's done," Publicis Chairman Maurice Levy said in a memo sent today to Publicis employees.

Publicis now boasts five

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agency networks -- Publicis, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, Leo Burnett Worldwide, Fallon Worldwide and D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles -- two media powerhouses in Starcom MediaVest Group and Zenith Optimedia Group, which is jointly owned with Cordiant Communications Group; Pangea for multicultural communications; Relay for sports marketing; Medicus Group for health-care communications; and numerous nontraditional marketing agencies.

'Decisive step'
"This merger is a decisive step in Publicis' history," Mr. Levy said in his memo. "We will have to face new challenges, and new issues, but we will also be able to take advantage of new opportunities. We are fortunate to have with us great clients, great brands, great agencies and great people, and I am confident we will continue to progress and grow."

As part of the deal, the Japanese holding company Dentsu takes a 14.6% stake in Publicis.

Bcom3 Chairman-CEO Roger Haupt becomes president-chief operating officer of Publicis, while Bcom3 itself is dissolved.

Announced on Mar. 7, Publicis shareholders approved the deal June 18, and Bcom3 shareholders followed on Sept. 20.

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