The French-owned Publicis Groupe has denied speculation that it is planning a bid for American rival Interpublic.
In a statement on Sunday morning, the company said : "Publicis Groupe denies having engaged in any discussions with Interpublic Group of Companies and confirms that it has not commissioned any bank to undertake any such discussions."
The original rumour was sparked by a piece in the Financial Times.
The FT has since updated the post, saying "Apologies, but our usually knowledgeable sources turned out to be lacking on this occasion."
Interpublic shares had closed at $10.97 on Friday, 13.3 percent higher. More than 40 million shares changed hands after the FT reported that Publicis Groupe was readying a bid of more than $6 billion for the U.S. holding company.
There has long been speculation about Publicis’s interest in acquiring IPG . But Adweek said FT’s Alphaville blog contained “specific details that appeared to give more credence to the latest round of rumours”.
The FT had said Publicis was working on a bid, which had been six months in the planning. Shareholders were to be offered a cash-and-stock deal valued at $15 a share.
In response, on Friday IPG issued a statement: “We are aware of the activity in our stock today. It is our policy not to comment on market rumours or speculation.”