Failed merger driven by ego, says Martin Sorrell

The failed merger bid between the advertising giants Omnicom and Publicis Groupe was driven by ego, WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell said today.

Speaking to CNBC from Beijing, Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP, said both firms had been signalling that the deal was on the rocks.

He said: "They had been saying that they were equally good if they were on their own, which begs the question why were they thinking of it in the first place? Both companies wanted to dislodge WPP from its 'number one' perch, so I think it was emotional and egotistical."

Sorrell said both the chief executives of Omnicom and Publicis Groupe, John Wren and Maurice Lévy, had sat in a room together over the past six months without the use of "expensive advisers".

"Maybe advisers, although expensive, are worthwhile," he said

Sorrell also said he had warned of the pitfalls of the deal when it was first announced.

"I said it was a bold path for both companies, that the structure was clunky and that it would have regulatory issues, as well as issues with both clients and people and all of that has come to pass."

Video with kind persission of CNBC.


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