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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Omnicom and Publicis say merger to close by mid-2014 at latest, (NYSE: MS)

The $35.1 billion tie-up of advertising groups Omnicom and Publicis will close by the middle of next year at the latest, the two groups said on Thursday, pushing the date back slightly later than expected. Omnicom's Chief Executive John Wren and Publicis boss Maurice Levy said they are still waiting on some regulatory approvals, including Russia and the European Union, which could mean they just miss the original target of closing the deal by the end of March."We'll close certainly in the first half and as early as we can," Wren told the Morgan Stanley investor conference in Barcelona, sat next to Levy and being watched by leading competitors, including WPP boss Martin Sorrell.Once the two groups have been given the green light, the newly formed board will meet to discuss how to return additional earnings to shareholders beyond the already committed dividend payout ratio of 35 percent."We have already committed publicly to a dividend of 35 percent ... and that will be done. And when the new board gets together we'll sit down and we'll discuss with the new board how we're going to return the remainder of the earnings to the shareholders, after we've taken care of what our needs are," Wren said.

Morgan Stanley is a global financial services company that, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, provides its products and services to a range of clients and customers, including corporations, governments, financial institutions and individuals. Shares of MS traded higher by 2.11% or $0.64/share to $30.91. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $16.23 and as high as $30.78. On average, 13173400 shares of MS exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 5454055.