Y&R shares jump as talks with WPP resume

- Young & Rubicam saw its shares leap nine per cent on the news that it was back in talks with WPP Group. Its shares closed up $4.50 at $54.12.

- Young & Rubicam saw its shares leap nine per cent on the news that it was back in talks with WPP Group. Its shares closed up $4.50 at $54.12.

The resumption of talks on Friday marks the third time the two have tried to come to a deal that suits both parties.

Most recently talks broke down at the beginning of last week when WPP said talks between the two companies had been terminated. Y&R shares slid lower and were not helped after it turned to French group Publicis to discuss a possible merger.

It is thought that the Publicis is still interested in pursing a link with Y&R and its senior management is exploring the options.

Hopes are high that the British group WPP can finally pull the deal off. One of the main sticking points that Y&R retain autonomy is thought to have been dropped.

A spokesman for WPP confirming talks were back on said "there can be no assurances that a transaction will be agreed".

WPP is currently the third-biggest advertising network in the world with 1999 revenues of around $4.82 billion. Y&R is seventh with revenues of $1.87 billion while Publicis is 10th with $1.43 billion.

A deal would elevate WPP past rivals Omnicom Group and the Interpublic Group of Companies to become the world's largest group.



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