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SIMON SEES SHARES DROP FOLLOWING SWEEPSTAKES SCANDAL

Published on .

(Aug. 22, 2001) -- Simon Worldwide, parent of Simon Marketing, the firm involved in the alleged McDonald's sweepstakes scam, saw its shares plummet to a low of 19 cents from $3.05 on the Nasdaq in morning trading today.

The Nasdaq had halted trading on Simon Worldwide after McDonald's on Tuesday terminated its 25-year relationship with Simon Marketing when its security director was arrested along with seven others for their alleged participation in a six-year scam that filtered $13 million of sweepstakes winnings to members of a multistate crime ring.

Simon today said it would work closely with investigators and McDonald's. The promotion firm is planning to hire a law firm to conduct its own independent probe on the scandal.

"We share McDonald's shock at today's allegations," said Simon Worldwide CEO Allan Brown. "The more than 400 employees of Simon Worldwide have also been victimized by the alleged actions of one employee, and everyone at our company is determined to do whatever we can to repair our relationship with McDonald's and to maintain our relationships with Simon Worldwide's other clients."

Simon's shares have recovered slightly since the morning to a range of 47 cents to 55 cents, still off more than 80% of its value earlier this week. -- Kate MacArthur

Copyright August 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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