True North Close to Deal
CHICAGO—True North Communications is believed to be close to an acquisition deal, with Cordiant Communications Group emerging as the prime suitor, sources said last week. Earlier speculation centered on Havas Advertising in Paris, which last week raised $625 million through a bond issue. However, the company’s finance director said that the money was to cover debt, partly from the purchase of Snyder Communications and for smaller-sized acquisitions, and that a major move was not in the offing. Speculation about a CCG/True North deal has been long rumored, but those discussions centered around True North acquiring CCG. More recently, CCG, which owns Bates Worldwide, has been looking to bolster its operations and CEO Michael Bungey has said he was looking for acquisitions. In September, CCG completed its acquisition of Lighthouse Global Network, an international communication firm. Publicis, which still owns 10 percent of True North, is also said to be intersted, sources said. Meanwhile, Interpublic Group of Companies is said to be interested in True North but is not currently involved in any talks with the Chicago-based holding company, sources said. TN, following the loss of its cornerstone DaimlerChrysler business to Omnicom’s BBDO in November, has acknowledged it is open to the idea of acquisition. A TN representative last week declined to discuss acquisition rumors.
Mall Management Co. Shops for Agencies
CHICAGO—General Growth Properties, which manages 140 regional shopping malls in 37 states, is poised to select regional agencies to handle its advertising and promotions, said John Davidoff, senior vice president of marketing for the Chicago-based company. Total spending was estimated by sources at $5-10 million.
Sub-Zero Selects Richards Group
CHICAGO—High-end appliance maker Sub Zero Refrigerator awarded its $10-12 million account to The Richards Group, an agency official confirmed. The Dallas shop beat out Martin/Williams in Minneapolis after a review. Richards will also handle advertising for the Wolf Gourmet brand of residential ranges and cooktops.
Lescarbeau, Partners Name Shop ONE
CHICAGO—An agency started by former Fallon Minneapolis group creative director Mike Lescarbeau has officially opened its doors under the name ONE [Adweek, Nov. 13]. Joining Lescarbeau, who will be creative director, are Tom Nowak, Mike Fetrow and Marcus Fischer.
FCB Picks Up Berry-Brown’s Quaker Business
CHICAGO—FCB here has picked up several additional brands from Quaker Oats Co. from Berry Brown Advertising in Dallas, which is closing. Moving are the Aunt Jemima line as well as rice cakes and grits. Billings were estimated at $15-20 million.
CHICAGO—A story in the Dec. 11 issue of Adweek was incorrect. Sea Ray boats has not contacted agencies about its advertising account and has no plans to, a company official said.
True North Close to Deal