Canada's Cossette files for initial public offering

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QUEBEC CITY--Canada's No. 1 marketing company is going public and will use the money raised to back expansion in Canada and the U.S.

Cossette Communication Group has filed a preliminary prospectus with securities regulators across Canada and estimates shares could start trading on Canada's top two stock exchanges by the end of June. Cossette owns top Canadian agency Cossette Communication-Marketing and Optimum Public Relations as well as branding, research, new media and graphic design shops; total billings at the 27-year-old company were $261 million in fiscal 1998, up nearly 22% from the previous year.

President Claude Lessard says plans include "internal growth and acquisitions" as Cossette looks to expand its regional presence in Canada, where it has offices in four major cities. Cossette expects to raise as much as $26 million from the offering.

Copyright May 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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