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Omnicom, Publicis cancel merger

Omnicom Group of New York and Publicis Groupe of Paris have canceled their planned merger. The two companies cited the difficulties involved in completing the transaction within a reasonable timeframe. The decision has been approved by both boards, with neither company being under any obligation to the other and no termination fees payable by either party.

In a joint statement, Publicis chairman and CEO Maurice Lévy and Omnicom president and CEO John Wren 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."

Omnicom and Publicis announced their intention to merge in July 2013. The new entity, to be called Publicis Omnicom Group, would have been the largest advertising company in the world. Publicis subsidiaries include Leo Burnett, Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi, BBH, MSLGroup, Starcom MediaVest Group, ZenithOptimedia, Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, DigitasLBi, Razorfish, Rosetta and VivaKi. Omnicom's agencies include BBDO, DDB, TBWA, Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum, OMD, Interbrand, RAPP, Proximity, CDM and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

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