Dentsu is reportedly planning its initial public offering, Japan’s biggest this year, for the third week of November.

The agency giant will sell shares worth $1.5 billion in Europe and America, as well as in its native Japan.

Despite speculation it would cancel the flotation due to weakness in the markets – the Nikkei index recently tumbled to an 18-year nadir – Dentsu confirmed last week it would push ahead this year [WAMN: 02-Oct-01].

Its determination to brave a bear market is thought to reflect the desire of its two biggest shareholders – Kyodo News and Jiji Press – to sell their stakes (worth around $500 million and $125m–$167m respectively). Reports also suggest Dentsu needs cash to build a new head office in Tokyo, fund the establishment of an Asian media network and increase its 20% holding in US-based Bcom3 Group.

News source: AdAge Global