LONDON-M&C Saatchi, advertising agency for some of Britain's best-known companies, made its first public offering of shares today, in a step aimed at funding its expansion in Europe and Asia.

The shop launched its shares on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange at approximately $2.38.

It placed the shares only with institutional investors but will make them available to the wider public starting Wednesday. The offering valued M&C Saatchi at approximately $126 million.

M&C Saatchi has said it will use money from the sale to pay for its expansion in Germany, France, Italy and Spain. The company has said it plans also to open new offices in China, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and India, and to boost its presence in the United States.

Maurice Saatchi and his brother Charles set up the business with three partners in 1995 after a dispute with shareholders of Saatchi & Saatchi, the agency the two brothers helped create in 1970.

M&C Saatchi's clients include airlines British Airways and Qantas, brewers Scottish & Newcastle, Royal Bank of Scotland and drug maker GlaxoSmithKline.

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