Publicis vows fight on Bozell deal

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Publicis today restated its offer to buy True North Communications and its opposition to True North's merger with Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhart.

In a statement, Publicis said it is "disappointed" by the True North board's rejection of its $28 per share offer and reaffirmed its intention to vote its True North shares, approximately 18.5% of True North's common, against the Bozell merger. It said it is considering "all options available to it.

Analysts at investment bank Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette said the Publicis offer appeared to be "a thinly veiled attempt to postpone or thwart the BJK&E merger." The report adds Publicis is unlikely to stop the BJK&E deal since it requires a simple majority shareholder vote. True North's management holds 16% of the stock and most shareholders will vote with them, said the report.

Separately, Publicis said billings rose 21% in the third quarter to $l billion, from $835 million in 1996. For nine months, billings climbed 16% to $3.1 billion from $2.7 billion a year ago.

Copyright November 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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