Deadline Looms For Bcom3 Power Shift

CHICAGO — With Bcom3 Group’s long-delayed initial public offering still up in the air, the authority to force an IPO is set to shift at the end of this month.

Former MacManus Group executives Roy Bostock and Craig Brown get controlling authority over the decision to go public if there is no IPO by Jan. 31, 2002.

The deadline is one of several concerning the IPO that are laid out in documents filed last year by the Chicago-based holding company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bcom3 had planned to go public last year, but after the market tanked, executives there were forced into an indefinite holding pattern, saying they would not go forward until conditions improved.

Power over the IPO until Jan. 31 is equally distributed among the seven-member board, and the power shift only concerns a public offering.

The Jan. 31 shift is not expected to change the company’s direction. A Bcom3 representative last week noted the decision to delay was made unanimously and said the board was of a like mind about current market conditions being hostile for an IPO. The provision was made to give shareholders-primarily those from The MacManus Group – confidence the company would follow through on its plans to go public, insiders have said.

Without an IPO, Dentsu has the power to veto any change in company control before March 14. After that date, Bcom3 cannot give another company control without first offering Dentsu the chance to purchase it outright.

Prior to an IPO, any takeover offer would have to be taken to a full vote of Bcom3’s current 660 shareholders.