Nick Manning and Colin Gottlieb, the managing partners of Manning
Gottlieb Media, have put the brakes on a week-long bidding war for
control of their company.
The media independent is now considering which of the two bidders -
Omnicom or Carat - will provide the best strategic opportunity for the
pounds 70 million billing MGM brand.
Omnicom has been preparing a full bid for MGM for some time but,
according to sources at Carat - which has a 19 per cent stake in the
media independent - Carat made a counter-offer last week of around
pounds 2 million more than Omnicom.
Now MGM has called a halt to the bidding war, which is thought to have
led to MGM being valued at more than pounds 13 million.
According to one insider, Carat is keen to use MGM to extend its UK
offering beyond TMD Carat and BBJ Media Services, adding a more
creative, planning-led proposition to its portfolio. Carat is also
understood to have tabled an offer that includes a substantial injection
of business into MGM.
Omnicom’s decision to sever ties with Eurospace, the Carat-owned media
operation that acted as a media partner for Omni-com’s TBWA Simons
Palmer agency (Campaign, last week), brought matters to a head.
Discussions between MGM and Omnicom have now reached contract stage.
Omnicom already has a 32 per cent stake in MGM, and Bruce Crawford, its
chairman, is due in London next week to confirm Omnicom’s new media
Crawford is planning an umbrella media operation spanning Omnicom’s BMP
Optimum, MGM and probably New PHD, in which Omnicom has a minority stake
through New PHD’s parent company, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.
Talks have already taken place between BMP, New PHD and MGM and the
proposed structure would see the three operations sharing some
negotiations along with some back-of-house resources, such as research