GGT says yes to Omnicom bid

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Omnicom Group said it will acquire London-based GGT Group, the troubled parent company of London agency GGT and Paris-based BDDP Group, for $235 million in cash. While the GGT Group board endorsed the offer, it still must be approved by GGT shareholders. Their reaction was not immediately known.

GGT's future as an independent company had been the subject of intense speculation ever since Procter & Gamble Co. severed ties with GGT's New York agency, Wells BDDP, last week and withdrew $125 million in billings.

GGT Chairman-CEO Michael Greenlees said today the Omnicom offer was the only one on the table. However, WPP Group CEO Martin Sorrell was believed ready to start a due diligence review of GGT if the Omnicom deal hadn't gone through. Mr. Sorrell declined comment.

In the last Advertising Age ranking of worldwide ad organizations, based on 1996 billings, Omnicom was No. 2 . GGT was ranked No. 15. Omnicom said GGT will have estimated 1998 revenue in excess of $300 million. Omnicom said the U.S., where GGT's holdings include GSD&M, Austin, Texas, and Martin/Williams, Minneapolis, accounts for 40% of GGT Group's worldwide revenues. Revenues from France and the rest of Continental Europe account for roughly another 40% of GGT revenue, with the remaining 20%, according to Omnicom, from GGT's U.K. operations.

Copyright January 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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