Sir Frank eyes Lowe as IPG faces sell-off

As the prospect of IPG disposing of some of its assets looms, it has emerged that Sir Frank Lowe is looking at making his advertising comeback and has approached top-level Lowe staff with a plan to back a management buyout.

Lowe is eager to see the agency he founded wrested from IPG and is willing to use his reputation to lend credibility to a breakaway.

Meanwhile, Lowe's management is believed to have been approached by a second, as-yet-unnamed, backer. And Jerry Judge, the network's former chief executive, is also rumoured to be considering putting together a bid - something he strenuously denies.

Buyers have been alerted to the prospect of an IPG sell-off by the maximum value proposal put forward by the shareholder Charles Miller. It calls for IPG to be broken up and its component parts sold off.

Sir Frank Lowe and the Lowe chief executive, Tony Wright, did not return calls.

IPG said: "Selling any of our assets at this early stage of our turnaround makes no sense."

- Analysis, page 6

- Comment, page 40.