Family member to sell 20% stake in Publicis

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PARIS -- Just a year after the death of founder Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet left French agency Publicis spiritually orphaned, officials learned that Bleustein-Blanchet's daughter is planning to abandon her estimated 20% in the group. Michele Bleustein-Blanchet, the youngest daughter in the Bleustein- Blanchet family, has asked an investment bank to prepare the sale of the 7.6% that she holds directly in Publicis, as well as her one-third stake in a family business that owns another 38% of the agency.

It is unknown to whom Ms. Bleustein-Blanchet hopes to sell her $120m to $155m stake in Publicis. However, some agency insiders speculate that she is likely to seriously consider all bids. Agency officials says Publicis currently has no plans to buy the tendered shares, largely because it already commands a hefty majority in capital ownership as well as board votes.

Paris-based Publicis Communication is the world's 13th largest advertising organization with 1996 gross income of $676.8m. It owns Publicis, the second largest ad agency network in Europe, and FCA! BMZ, the 19th biggest.

Copyright June 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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