Interpublic, the global advertising company that owns McCann-Erickson and Lowe Lintas, is poised to overtake Martin Sorrell's WPP as the world's biggest advertising company with the acquisition of True North Communications.

The deal, worth £1.39bn, is expected to be announced today. It marks the end of a closely-watched auction that saw True North linked with most of the world's major advertising companies, including France's Havas and WPP.

True North, which owns advertising agencies FCB and Bozell, has been vulnerable to a takeover since it lost Daimler Chrysler, its biggest client, to rival agency BBDO Worldwide last year.

The loss resulted in a large number of redundancies and a drop in True North's share price.

The combined company would have revenues of £4.8bn based on earnings for 2000, making it the world's biggest advertising company by revenues. WPP had revenues of £4.6bn last year.

Chicago-based True North is said to have entered into exclusive negotiations with Interpublic this weekend.

By: Claire Cozens | From: The Guardian

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