Agency giants drop merger plan

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Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe have announced their US $35 billion global merger will not proceed because of “difficulties in completing the transaction within a reasonable time frame”.

Insiders say the deal, billed as a “merger of equals”, stumbled over power struggles within the two companies, plus tax and other regulatory problems.

“The parties have released each other from all obligations with respect to the proposed transaction, and no termination fees will be payable by either party,” the Publicis chairman/ceo Maurice Levy and Omnicom president/ceo John Wren is a joint statement.

“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 t proceed along our independent paths. We, of course, remain competitors, but maintain a great respect for one another.”

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