Publicis Groupe and Omnicom cancel $35bn merger

Publicis Groupe and Omnicom have called off their $35 billion (£21 billion) merger, citing difficulties in completing the transaction within a reasonable timeframe.

Maurice Levy and John Wren: respective Publicis and Omnicom chiefs
Maurice Levy and John Wren: respective Publicis and Omnicom chiefs

The "merger of equals" was announced in July last year and the agency holding groups had originally expected it to go through in the first quarter of this year.

In a statement, Publicis Groupe, which owns Saatchi & Saatchi and Starcom MediaVest Group, and Omnicom, which owns OMD and the BBDO network, said they have terminated their proposed merger of equals by mutual agreement.

Both parties are released from obligations and there are no termination fees payable.

The management board and supervisory board of Publicis Groupe and Omnicom’s board of directors have approved the decision.

Maurice Lévy, the chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe, and John Wren, the president and chief executive of Omnicom, 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."

Earlier this month Campaign revealed that the proposed merger was costing the groups millions in fees, as the deal was delayed by tax rulings and plagued with rumours of infighting.

Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.

SUBSCRIBE

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now
Share

1 Meet the new breed of ad agency chiefs

A new wave of first-time CEOs are opting to do things differently in an evolving landscape. They discuss the business model of the future with Jeremy Lee.

Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising
Shares0
Share

1 Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

"This girl can" was based on a powerful insight: that the fear of judgement by others is the primary barrier holding women back from participating in sport.

Just published

More