Publicis withdraws offer, keeps up fight

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Publicis SA withdrew its tender offer for a majority stake in True North Communications, but the French company has not given up the fight to stop True North's acquisition of Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt. Publicis said Dec. 10 it withdrew its $28-per-share offer for 32.6% of True North after a U.S. District judge in Chicago issued a restraining order halting the offer until after a Dec. 18 hearing to consider Publicis' request to stop a shareholder vote on the BJK&E deal.

In a statement, Publicis said it intends to seek an emergency appeal and a stay of the restraining order pending the appeal. Spokesmen for the company would not comment further.

"We are gratified that the court upheld our point of view regarding Publicis' actions," said True North Chairman-CEO Bruce Mason. ``We viewed our settlement agreements with Publicis last May as a final divorce. Apparently, Publicis was less convinced the divorce was final.''

In a letter to shareholders Dec. 10, Mr. Mason said the board had decided - with Publicis' designated board member recusing himself - to officially turn down the Publicis offer as inadequate and no substitute for the BJK&E deal.

Copyright December 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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