Interpublic Falls After Publicis Denies Deal Talk

Interpublic Group of Cos. tumbled after Publicis Groupe SA said it hasn’t held takeover talks with the ad company or engaged a bank to support discussions, following a newspaper report saying the French company may bid.

Interpublic fell 7.8 percent to $10.11 at the close in New York, for the second-worst performance in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The owner of ad agencies McCann and Draftfcb had risen 13 percent this year through Aug. 3.

“Following the speculations published by Alphaville and their resulting widespread publicity, Publicis Groupe denies having engaged in any discussions with Interpublic Group of Cos and confirms that it has not commissioned any bank to undertake any such discussions,” the Paris-based company said in a statement today.

On Friday, the Financial Times’ Alphaville section reported that Publicis was working with a group of banks, including Rothschild, on a cash-and-stock bid for New York-based Interpublic that would value the target at about $15 a share, citing people it didn’t identify.

“Our usually knowledgeable sources turned out to be lacking on this occasion,”the newspaper said, after Publicis denied the talks.

Publicis, owner of ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, rose less than 1 percent to 41.03 euros in Paris.

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