Publicis launched the tender offer in early December, seeking to acquire 32.6% of True North's shares, which combined with its own 18.4% stake would give it control of the company. Failing that, it requested that True North stop the BJK&E deal and seek bids for the company, stating Publicis would vote its shares against BJK&E and for a buyer that would match or top its $28-per-share offer.
In court, True North claimed the French holding company is in violation of a 1996 agreement, finalized this June, which ended their joint venture. The two sides have been in and out of court for the last two weeks, when Publicis sued to stop the BJK&E deal and force True North to consider a Nov. 10 merger proposal.
Copyright December 1997, Crain Communications Inc.