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(June 20, 2001) -- Snyder Communications and Havas Advertising revealed today that a group of shareholders of interactive agency has filed a class action lawsuit claiming they were shortchanged when Havas acquired as part of its purchase of Snyder.

The lawsuit, filed June 4 in Delaware, claims Snyder breached its fiduciary duties when it failed to negotiate separately with Havas for the acquisition of The suit originaly sought an injunction against the deal or monetary damages but the plaintiffs, Norman Cheney and Deborah Dyckman, withdrew the application for an injuction on June 11.

In a statement filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Snyder and Havas denied the suit's allegations and said the suit's claims are withouth merit. The statement added that the defendants -- which include both companies and executives including Havas Chairman-CEO Alain de Poulzihac, Anrold Communications CEO Ed Eskanderian and Euro RSCG CEO Bob Schmetterer -- "intend to defend themselves vigorously in such action."

Snyder has scheduled a June 26 shareholders vote on the deal. -- Mercedes Cardona

Copyright June 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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