Shareholders in Publicis Groupe have given the green light to the agency titan’s acquisition of Bcom3 Group.

The deal will elevate Publicis to fourth place in the global agency league, with Japanese giant Dentsu taking a 15% stake in the combined group.

However, Publicis ceo Maurice Levy admitted that the enlarged group faces a tricky baptism, with the ad recovery forecast for the latter half of this year still proving elusive.

“We were expecting a stabilisation in the second quarter, and a recovery from September onwards,” Levy told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting. “At the moment, there is no sign that this scenario will come true.”

Bcom3 investors have yet to give the merger their approval, and are expected to vote in late July or early August.

Data sourced from multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff