Publicis to buy Fallon

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Publicis announced this morning that it will buy Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, in a deal that allows Fallon to remain a separate brand under the holding company's umbrella. The sale price was estimated at $120 million, according to one person with knowledge of the deal. The two separate networks will be managed independently, with Fallon Chairman Pat Fallon reporting to Publicis President-CEO Maurice Levy. Fallon, with more than $700 million in billings, has been courted in the past and was recently said to be shopping around more aggressively. The announcement was made simultaneously in the New York, London and Minneapolis offices of the two agencies. Fallon was one of the few remaining independent U.S. agencies, and its acquisition could set off a new round of sale activity.

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