Zenith and Aegis in merger deal talks

Zenith Media is in preliminary talks with the rival media group, Aegis, which owns the Carat network, with a view to creating a dollars 12.6 billion-billing media giant.

Zenith Media is in preliminary talks with the rival media group,

Aegis, which owns the Carat network, with a view to creating a dollars

12.6 billion-billing media giant.



The two media specialists have had discussions several times over the

years, but the stock market flotation of Zenith at the end of 1997 is

understood to have given new urgency to the issue.



A merger could create a media giant with assets of more than pounds

1,000 million in the UK, almost four times its nearest competitor, but a

full merger is a more likely option in countries where Zenith and Carat

have a lesser presence. Carat is stronger in Europe, while Zenith has

made greater inroads in Asia and North America.



Worldwide, Zenith has billings of dollars 5.6 billion and Carat dollars

7 billion.



The merged network would have international clients such as Procter &

Gamble, Mars and Philips.



Both parties refused to confirm the reports.



John Perriss, the chairman of Zenith Worldwide, said: ’We would not

disclose that information. People approach us all the time in the

current situation.’



Crispin Davies, the chief executive of Aegis, was unavailable for

comment as Campaign went to press.



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