Grey investors voice disappointment over size of bids
By Gordon MacMillan,, brandrepublic.com, Friday, 10 September 2004 08:40AM
LONDON – Investors in Grey Global Group have expressed disappointment about the size of the bids received, as WPP Group emerged as the early leader in the race to acquire the US advertising holding company.
Bids were received yesterday from WPP, private equity firm Hellman & Friedman and French rival Havas.
WPP's offer was a cash-and-shares deal valued at more than $900 a share, or more than $1.25bn (£700m).
New York-based Hellman & Friedman, which is reported to have teamed up with buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company, has also submitted a bid in the region of $900 a share.
However, there is no word on how much the bid submitted by Havas is worth.
The French firm's position is precarious. It needs the deal more than the other two, but it is bidding against the wishes of some of its most powerful shareholders, including Vincent Bollore.
Grey is expected to make a decision within the next few days but, according to sources quoted by the Financial Times, it does not appear that any bid was higher than Grey's current share price of $935.
Tim Fidler, director of research at Ariel Capital in Chicago, which controls 28% of Grey, told the paper that the bids "were not unreasonable", but fell short of his expectations.
He said the price had been kept down by the lack of competitors vying for Grey and the general state of the ad market.
"If it had been a more contested auction and a better advertising market, I think you would have seen higher bids.
"We are disappointed. It's a fantastic company. You don't want to see it monetised for the sake of cashing out," he said.
However, disappointed or not, the only opinion that counts in the race for Grey is that of Ed Meyer, the 77-year old chairman who controls the company.
There is no word on what Meyer thinks of the size of the bids, which at these prices it is estimated will net him a personal fortune of $34m.
If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.
This article was first published on brandrepublic.com
- Lead Digital Designer Blue Skies Marketing Recruitment £60000 - £80000 per annum, London
- Digital Designer Mobile - ASAP Nakama £250 - £400 per day, London (Central), London (Greater)
- Studio Manager Pitch Consultants £25000 - £30000 per annum, Manchester
- Senior Research and Insight Executive Pitch Consultants £20000 - £25000 per annum, Greater Manchester
- Senior Client Manager Brand Consultancy Packaging Blue Skies Marketing Recruitment £30000 - £35000 per annum, London
- Adam & Eve/DDB wins 2014 IPA Effectiveness Awards Grand Prix
- Enjoyed getting an hour back on Sunday? You'll get years back if you stop smoking, says charity
- Tiffany & Co hires MEC for $100m global media
- Mattessons Fridge Raiders campaign delivers AI robot to YouTube gamer
- HSBC launches Anyone's Game golf campaign
- Facebook and Airbnb sign up to D&AD New Blood