Havas announced less than half an hour
Bids are not expected to substantially exceed Grey's market capitalization, which currently is $1.3 billion, a slight increase from its $1.2 billion market cap in late June, when it was put up for sale.
Havas, parent to ad networks Euro RSCG Worldwide and Arnold Worldwide and media-buying agency MPG, has been struggling in the past 24 months with a restructuring that involves selling off underperforming units, reorganizing its existing operations and restructuring its debt.
Last week, the debt-burdened company secured financing for the deal from Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale.
But Vincent Bollore, a French financier who owns more than 5% of Havas, reportedly is opposed to Havas' bid. A call to Mr. Bollore was not answered at press time.
Grey Global, whose clients include Procter & Gamble Co., Mars and BAT, went on the sales block in late June. Other potential bidders include holding company WPP Group and private equity firms Hellman & Friedman, San Francisco, in partnership with Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, New York. Grey Global is the parent of Grey Worldwide and media buying and planning agency MediaCom.