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Aug 5 () - French advertising agency Publicis said it had not held talks with U.S. rival Interpublic Group, formally denying a press report that had boosted Interpublic's shares by 13 percent on Friday.
"Following the speculations published by FT.com Alphaville and their resulting widespread publicity, Publicis Groupe denies having engaged in any discussions with Interpublic Group and confirms that it has not commissioned any bank to undertake any such discussions," the company said in a statement on Sunday.
FT Alphaville had cited "usually knowledgeable" sources on Friday who claimed Publicis was weighing a bid for Interpublic, which could be worth at least $6 billion.
The advertising industry is in a period of consolidation, with Japanese ad giant Dentsu recently bidding for UK-based marketing group Aegis, and market leaders WPP and Publicis snapping up emerging market and Internet-focused agencies.