Mason says TN eyes Bates

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True North Communications, Chicago, is talking to other agencies about an acquisition, including a possible global agency merger. Speaking after the holding company's annual meeting, CEO Bruce Mason said TN is "having active conversations...with more than one candidate" to beef up its two main networks, Foote, Cone & Belding and Bozell Worldwide, as well as its Diversified Cos. group. Of potential targets, Mr. Mason said Bates Worldwide is "a good possibility" for an acquisition, although he would not say if TN is having talks with Bates parent Cordiant Communications Group.

Mr. Mason also said TN will likely sell off its 26% interest in Publicis Communications, Paris, by early next year, even if Publicis does not go public.

Copyright May 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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