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(July 19, 2001) -- Relationship marketing agency Marketing Services Group, New York, is selling its Atlanta-based direct-marketing subsidiary Grizzard Communications Group to Omnicom Group for $91.3 million in cash.

The transaction, scheduled to close in the next 30 days, will eliminate Marketing Services Group's outstanding debt.

Grizzard will join Omnicom's Diversified Agency Services group. Chip Grizzard, general manager and president of the Grizzard Agency, will continue to run the company.

Marketing Services, which specializes in customer acquisition and retention programs, plans to form a strategic alliance with Grizzard to continue joint sales and marketing efforts. -- Cara Beardi and Lisa Sanders

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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