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Bcom3 shareholders OK Publicis merger

The last step for Bcom3 Group Inc.'s merger with Paris-based Publicis Groupe
SA was taken in Chicago Friday afternoon, when the former's shareholders voted
their approval 'by an overwhelming margin,' according to Bcom3.

More than 90 percent of Bcom3's shareholders voted, and 'more than 95 percent
[of those voted] in favor of this merger,' Chicago-based Bcom3 CEO Roger Haupt
said afterward.

Haupt will become president of the new Publicis Groupe upon closing of
the deal, with the two entities' combined gross income worldwide approaching
$4.8 billion, Bcom3 reported.

In a related move, Dentsu Inc. has taken a 15 percent stake in the newly
combined company.

The deal should be closed by Wednesday.