Publicis pays out €195m to former Saatchis shareholders

LONDON - Eighteen months after Publicis bought Saatchi & Saatchi, the French advertising group is to pay out €195m (£122m) to the latter's shareholders.

The payment has been made after Publicis' share price fell. Publicis paid Saatchis' shareholders in its shares when it acquired the agency in September 2000. However, to avoid the market being flooded with Publicis shares after the deal was done, it attached an agreement that ensured anyone holding the stock for longer than 18 months would be compensated for any decline in their value with a cash payment.

The payment covered a decrease of up to 10% and Publicis has now been forced to make the full 10% payout.

However, the loss has already been accounted for in its balance sheet. Shares in Publicis, trading on the Paris Bourse, were up this morning by 1.1% to €37.40. They hit a year high at the beginning of March, after Publicis announced it was acquiring B|Com3 in a deal worth $3bn (£2.1bn).

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