Ed Meyer in line for £20m as Havas and WPP weigh up Grey

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Ed Meyer, the chairman and chief executive of Grey Global Group, as well as its controlling shareholder, could be in line for a £19.5 million windfall if the company is sold.

Meyer would also be entitled to perks such as a staffed office, a car and a chauffeur, as well as a £26.4 million pension.

However, the prospect of a huge pay-off for Meyer could prove a big influence on how much would-be bidders are prepared to fork out for Grey, which has a price tag of more than £700 million. Meyer's share of the company is estimated at £142 million.

Meyer would be owed compensation if he lost his job after a takeover.

He would also be entitled to receive £57,000 every year for five years to cover expenses.

At present, the battle for Grey looks to be a two-way contest between the French communications group Havas and Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP.

WPP is doing due diligence on Grey but industry sources say Sorrell would walk away if the price were too high.

Havas is holding talks with Quadrangle, a US private investment company, about a joint bid for Grey. However, Havas has a chequered history with Grey's Procter & Gamble client.

The big prize for Havas would be MediaCom, which it would like to merge with its Media Planning Group subsidiary to create the world's biggest media agency.

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