Court Says No to TN

Publicis S.A. has held its ground in what may be the final chapter in its long-running feud with True North Communications.
A London arbitration court denied TN’s request for $106 million in damages on the claim it got unfair share exchange value when Publicis S.A. merged with Publicis Communications in December 1998.
Both sides expressed satisfaction that the case, as well as the years-old conflict, appears over.
“We’re glad to finally put it behind us,” said a statement issued by TN. “We’ve moved aggressively forward.”
Publicis chief executive officer Maurice Lƒvy, in a statement issued from his Paris office, also expressed pleasure that “this chapter is now closed,” but could not resist a dig at his former nemeses at TN. “I can only regret that the former management of TN thought it useful to undertake such a procedure.”
While Publicis remains the largest single shareholder in TN, with about 11 percent, the two holding companies ended an eight-year partnership in 1997 amid much acrimony.
The battle that ended last week began in November 1998 when TN argued it would lose nearly $30 million on paper as a result of Publicis S.A.’s absorption of nonpublic Publicis Communications.
Publicis said the ruling backed its argument that it “respected all relevant standards and regulations” when it merged the companies. TN, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said the court ruled Publicis breached obligations to TN, but awarded no damages.
TN said the court also ordered Publicis to provide withheld tax and financial information. K