GGT to acquire BDDP

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London-based GGT ad agency said it will acquire the BDDP agency group, headquartered in Paris. Price is estimated at about $165 million. BDDP is much bigger than GGT, but is weighed down by debt accumulated during its international expansion drive in the late 1980s. BDDP's revenues last year were $220 million, while GGT revenues in its last fiscal year were $97 million.

The two organizations will maintain separate identities, but will combine their efforts to service some international clients. BDDP is the world's 15th largest ad agency group, the 15th biggest in Europe and No. 3 in France. GGT is the world's 28th biggest advertising organization and 22nd in Europe. Their combined gross income in 1995 would have still ranked them 15th..

The BDDP group's business is primarily focused in Europe and North America, where New York-based Wells Rich Greene BDDP accounts for 40% of the group's worldwide billings. BDDP does hold a 20% stake in Singapore-based Asian network Batey. GGT owns U.S. agencies GSD&M, Austin,Texas; Martin Williams, Minneapolis; and Brighthouse, Atlanta.

BDDP began seeking a buyer this past spring. Executives close to the talks said Grey Advertising, New York, was also a lead contender for BDDP.

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