Publicis and Omnicom merge to create world's largest advertising firm

Business -

The merger was announced the morning of July 28 in both Paris and New York in a joint release.

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Copyright 2014 Reuters
Copyright 2014 Reuters

Paris, France

Paris-based Publicis Groupe and Omnicom Group, based in New York, announced that the two advertising giants would merge operations to create the world's largest ad firm. The deal is subject to shareholder approval, along with various regulators signing off in both the U.S. and Europe.

Publicis shareholders will get one share of stock in the new firm for every share currently owned, plus a special dividend of 1 euro per share. Omnicom shareholders will get a special dividend of 2 euros per current share of Omnicom stock, and be issued .813 shares of the new firm's stock.

The companies will merge initially as equals with co-CEO's--Publicis' Maurice Levy and Omnicom's John Wren planning to manage operations together for the next 30 months. After this period, Wren will become the new firm's CEO and Levy will serve as its non-executive chairman.

"This combination will enable us to leverage the skills of our exceptionally talented peopleā€¦ this is a merger that will set our new company on a path to accelerated growth, with long-term benefits for clients, employees and shareholders." John Wren, Omnicom CEO

The new agency is expected to be listed on both the NYSE and Euronext Paris stock exchanges under the symbol OMC. Shareholders will own about 50% of the agency's equity.

If approved, the merger could be complete by late 2013 or early 2014. The world's new largest public relations and advertising company, in terms of both market value and annual revenue, would have a stock market value of $31.5 billion and employ 130,000 people worldwide.

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