A management group con-sisting of top BDDP executives and those of agency Wells Rich Greene BDDP, including WRG Chairman-CEO Frank Assumma, is known to have submitted one of the bids.
Other bidders are believed to include Cordiant, parent of Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising
Worldwide and Bates Worldwide, BDDP mulls bids
and Grey Advertising. Both have denied interest in the past and would not comment last week.
London-based GGT Group also had been looking at BDDP, but it is not known if it made a bid.
WPP Group has not submitted a recent bid; it made an informal offer about two months ago that was rejected by Mr. Butler's board as being too low.
The board is seeking about $200 million, but investment executives doubt any bidder will come close to paying that price.
BDDP has been weighed down by heavy debt. The group derives 75% of its $2 billion in billings from France and the U.S., and claimed $279 million in 1995 revenue.
Executives close to Procter & Gamble Co., a key client of WRG BDDP, Grey and Saatchi & Saatchi, said the marketer is unlikely to bless a management buyout unless management has a deep-pocketed backer.
P&G would prefer to see WRG join up with another P&G agency, as N.W. Ayer & Partners did with MacManus Group, parent of D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles. WRG and Saatchi together handle P&G's Oil of Olay globally, making Cordiant a potentially good fit.
Goldman, Sachs & Co., London, is serving as an adviser to Mr. Butler's group, shopping BDDP since early spring.