Publicis, Saatchi announce $2 billion merger

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Publicis, Paris, unveiled plans June 20 to pay nearly $2 billion for London-based Saatchi & Saatchi in a friendly takeover that will create the world's fifth-largest advertising company.

The all-stock deal, unveiled in Paris by top executives from the two companies, will create a new industry giant with global revenue topping $2 billion this year and a market capitalization of $6.1 billion.

The new company, to be baptized Publicis Group, also will have substantial media-buying interests, with Publicis' Optimedia division and Saatchi & Saatchi's half-interest in Zenith Media representing combined activities topping $16 billion. The other half of Zenith is owned by Saatchi's former partner, Cordiant Communications Group.

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Copyright June 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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