Paris-headquartered Publicis Groupe – the globe’s fourth largest agency conglomerate – was authorized by a shareholders’ meeting Wednesday to issue convertible bonds to the approximate value of E600 million ($535m) in a bid to refinance debt.

The move triggered a wave of speculation that the cash will be used to bankroll a bid for London-based agency group Cordiant Communications, a minority owner with Publicis of the Zenith Optimedia media planning/buying operation.

Whatever its intention, the bond issue was not to the liking of US investors. Publicis' American Depository Receipt Shares lost 2.74% on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday to close down 74 cents at $26.26.

News sources:; Brand Republic (UK)