ZenithOptimedia, OMD and Starcom form Merlion

MUNICH - ZenithOptimedia, TKM Starcom and OMD have announced a joint venture in Germany in a move designed to "build weight" in light of WPP's acquisition of the Grey Global Group.

The new unit, named Merlion, will give Omnicom and Publicis a combined market share of 26 per cent. The decision was in response to WPP's purchase of Grey, which will give WPP a 40 per cent share in Germany. The German competition authority is examining the joint venture for regulatory approval.

The ZenithOptimedia Germany chief executive, Michael Bohn, will head Merlion with the German OMD chief executive, Klaus-Peter Schulz.

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