Following weekend rumors, sparked by a report in UK Sunday title The Observer, that Havas is poised to take over London-headquartered Cordiant Communications [WAMN: 03-Jun-02], the French group issued a brusque fourteen word denial.

Or did it?

The statement read: “Havas confirmed today that it is not currently in discussions with Cordiant Communications Group.”

But if not ‘currently’, industry onlookers ask, what of ‘recently’ or ‘shortly’?

Word on the Champs Elysee is that Havas ceo Alain de Pouzilhac has been engaged in talks with Cordiant during recent weeks and that these are likely to continue.

But later on Monday, de Pouzilhac himself got specific. Addressing the Deutsche Bank Securities Media Conference in New York, he told delegates: “We are sorry about The Observer, but we’re not focused on any major acquisitions. ... We are not in any discussions with Cordiant.”

Data sourced from: and; additional content by WARC staff