28 June 2000

Perhaps envious at the way in which former sister-company Saatchi & Saatchi was swept off its feet by dashing Frenchman Publicis, London-based Cordiant Communications is understood to be in informal discussions with at least two US advertising groups.

Cordiant, holding company for the Bates Worldwide advertising network, is said to seek a dowry that would value it at over £1bn ($1.5bn). The two most likely beaux are the world's third biggest advertising group, New York-based Interpublic, and True North Communications of Chicago, with which Cordiant held unconsummated marital discussions last year.

Interpublic has been wooing Cordiant for some time, say insiders, pointing to the “good relationship” between Cordiant's chief executive Michael Bungey and Philip Geier, his opposite number at Interpublic. The aptly named True North, however, has often been cited by matchmakers as an ideal husband for Cordiant.

News source: Financial Times