Publicis, Saatchi & Saatchi May Partly Combine With Cordiant - TheStreet

Publicis

and

Saatchi & Saatchi

(SSA)

, which earlier this week agreed to merge in a $1.92 billion deal, appear to be interested in consolidating their media-buying operations with that of

Cordiant Communications

(CDA)

.

Saatchi and Cordiant, which were once one company, split up three years ago, but they still jointly own a media buying agency,

Zenith Media

. Saatchi executives told reporters at a news briefing in London Wednesday that they were interested in combining Zenith's operations with Publicis' media buying unit,

Optimedia

.

London-based Cordiant declined to comment, though a company insider did say Cordiant is interested in beefing up Zenith. "We've been talking to Saatchi for the last several months about ways to make Zenith bigger and better," the Cordiant official said. Combining Zenith with Optimedia would create the fourth biggest media buying company in the world, with $16 billion in annual billings.

Cordiant's American depositary receipts fell 1/16, or 0.25%, to 24 15/16 in late day trading. Saatchi was lower as well, falling 1/2, or 1.5%, to 31.

Publicis of France unveiled its all-stock

bid to take over Saatchi on Tuesday. The agreement would make Publicis the fifth-largest advertising holding company in the world.