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Bcom3 Shelves IPO, Blames ‘Market Conditions’

News, 29 March 2001

The board of Bcom3 Group announced yesterday that it had postponed its planned initial public offering for an indefinite period – a decision “based on market conditions”.

Chicago-headquartered Bcom3, the holding company for agency networks Leo Burnett Worldwide, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Starcom MediaVest, originally said it would make an initial public offering within eighteen months of its formation in January 2000.

But now, said chief executive Roger Haupt in a letter to staff: “I'm sure you would agree that today's picture is very different from that of a year ago. Market conditions are volatile and the business environment has changed dramatically.” However, reassured Haupt, Bcom 3 “remains committed to doing an IPO”.

The offspring of a marriage fourteen months ago between two privately held agency networks, Chicago’s Leo Group and the MacManus Group in New York, Bcom3 also attracted a 20 percent strategic holding by Japanese agency giant Dentsu – itself a privately held company and planning a public offering of its own later this year.

News source: New York Times