Omnicom-Publicis Merger Called Off
May 8, 2014 at 6:34 PM (PT)
Ad agency giants OMNICOM GROUP INC. and PUBLICIS GROUPE S.A. will not be merging after all, as the $35 billion deal announced last year to bring the companies together has been called off "by mutual agreement" amidst problems getting past regulators in EUROPE and CHINA as well as internal struggles over various issues like which company would technically acquire the other for purposes of accounting and SEC regulation. The proposed PUBLICIS OMNICOM GROUP was to be headed OMNICOM's JOHN D. WREN in NEW YORK and MAURICE LEVY in PARIS as co-CEOs, with LEVY ultimately becoming nonexecutive Chairman and LEVY sole CEO, and based in THE NETHERLANDS, with brands including SAATCHI AND SAATCHI and LEO BURNETT, owned by PUBLICIS, and DDB and BBDO, held by OMNICOM.
In a press release, WREN and LEVY said, "The challenges that still remained to be overcome, in addition to the slow pace of progress, created a level of uncertainty detrimental to the interests of both groups and their employees, clients and shareholders. We have thus jointly decided to proceed along our independent paths. We, of course, remain competitors, but maintain a great respect for one another."