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BDDP STUDIES SALE PROPOSALS FROM SUITORS;MANAGEMENT GROUP MAKES BID; CORDIANT, GREY SEEN IN RUNNING

By Published on .

A supervisory board of BDDP Group investors headed by committee Chairman Walter Butler was scheduled to evaluate bids for the French holding company over the weekend. A decision could come this week.

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.

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