Bankers acting for the French agency network, BDDP, have circulated a
200-page document to rival agency networks offering it for sale at about
The move was instigated by Walter Butler, the chairman of a control
group set up when private investors injected cash into BDDP in 1993.
Despite a call for non-binding bids to be registered within a week,
Butler and BDDP’s founder and chairman, Jean-Claude Boulet, have
consistently denied press reports that the network is for sale.
However, talks are set to take place over the next week between BDDP -
which has a position on Procter and Gamble’s roster through its New York
subsidiary, Wells Rich Greene BDDP - and several unnamed agencies.
P&G’s four roster networks have been approached, along with other
acquisitive agency groups such as WPP and Omnicom.
Presenting WPP’s first- quarter results to analysts this week, the WPP
chairman, Martin Sorrell, revealed that he wants to increase WPP’s
presence in France, where BDDP is ranked third by gross income. Ogilvy
and Mather ranks sixth and J. Walter Thompson 18th.
Sources suggest that, while WPP may acquire part of BDDP, it would
reject or re-sell WRG because O&M and JWT are Unilever shops.