Publicis, Omnicom Close to Merger Deal

Omnicom Group Inc. and Publicis Groupe SA, the world’s second- and third-biggest advertising companies, respectively, are near a deal to merge, people familiar with the situation said, creating what would be a $30 billion behemoth.

If a deal is completed, it would be billed as a merger of equals. The two companies each have a market capitalization of about $16 billion. Omnicom Chief Executive John Wren and Publicis CEO Maurice Levy are expected to be co-CEOs of the combined company, the people said. An announcement could come as early as Sunday, the people said.

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