×

Once registered, you can:

  • - Read additional free articles each month
  • - Comment on articles and featured creative work
  • - Get our curated newsletters delivered to your inbox

By registering you agree to our privacy policy, terms & conditions and to receive occasional emails from Ad Age. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Are you a print subscriber? Activate your account.

GGT TEAMS UP WITH BDDP EXECS TO MAKE BID FOR AGENCY GROUP;P&G'S AVERSION TO ENLARGING ITS ROSTER OF SHOPS COULD PRESENT OBSTACLE TO PLAN

By Published on .

GGT Group has teamed with some top managers at Paris-based BDDP Group to bid for BDDP.

The joint effort offers both groups a chance to compete for an acquisition that neither could afford on its own.

A BDDP management group-including Wells Rich Greene BDDP Chairman-CEO Frank Assumma and President Paula Forman, as well as top French executives-has been trying to take control of BDDP since it began seeking a buyer in the spring. Investment-community observers have expressed doubts that management could find financing to support a buyout.

A THIRD ENTITY

London-based GGT would help in that regard, though BDDP executives say another financing entity is participating in the bid as well.

Publicly traded GGT already owns two U.S. agencies, GSD&M, Austin, Texas, and Martin/

Williams, Minneapolis. It has been hunting for a third, preferably on the East or West Coast, and took a look at N.W. Ayer & Partners, New York, earlier this year. Its interest in BDDP has developed in the past month.

One of the obstacles GGT faced in pursuing Ayer was Procter & Gamble Co.'s hesitancy to enlarge its agency roster. Ayer is a P&G shop, and the marketer preferred to see it merge with another roster agency. Ayer is in the process of doing just that with D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles.

GGT could face the same obstacle with BDDP, since WRG also is a P&G agency. However, the partnership with current management could ease some of P&G's concern.

UNABLE TO GO IT ALONE

Analysts also say they doubt GGT could afford to buy BDDP on its own.

The world's 15th-largest agency group and No. 3 in France, BDDP is controlled now by a group of investors led by Walter Butler, as well as several European banks. Goldman, Sachs & Co., London, has been helping Mr. Butler shop the company, with an asking price of about $200 million.

WPP Group made an offer well below that about two months ago. Other groups believed to have made a bid or to have considered one include Grey Advertising, New York, and Cordiant, London-both on P&G's roster (AA, July 22).

Mr. Butler and his fellow investors studied bids last week; executives familiar with the situation said the BDDP investors wanted to make a decision soon.

Most Popular
In this article: