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The fact that the two firms are based in different countries could also become an issue, Dix said. "You have these fiefdoms that keep people from playing together. One company is based in Paris, one is in New York. Where is the power center?" he said in an interview Saturday.
Dix expects that top executives are comfortable with the structure of the deal, but the adjustment may be more difficult for the next level of executives who run the firms' units.
"Now they have to fit together into a broader organization," Dix said. "If you lose clients or have defections of senior executives then you have something that looked good on paper but didn't quite play out."
The combination has been approved by the boards of both companies, but remains subject to regulatory approval in both the U.S. and Europe, and to a vote by shareholders of both companies. The deal is structured so that the shareholders of Publicis Groupe and Omnicom, after special dividends, will each hold approximately 50 percent of the company.
Publicis Groupe shareholders will receive one new share of Publicis Omnicom Group for each Publicis Groupe share they own, together with a special dividend of 1 euro per share. Omnicom shareholders will receive 0.813 new shares of Publicis Omnicom Group for each Omnicom share they own, plus a special dividend of $2 per share. The new company intends to be listed in Paris and on the New York Stock Exchange.
The combination could have a domino effect on the industry, spurring marriages between other ad giants who might fear they can't compete otherwise, said Michael Corty, an analyst at Chicago-based Morningstar. "Within the ad agency industry, this is potentially an earthquake deal."