Grey Won’t Consider Piecemeal Sale

NEW YORK Grey Global Group today confirmed it has hired Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan to explore “alternatives focused on enhancing shareholder value.”

Grey stressed that the retention of the two investment firms does not ensure that a sale will take place. The New York-based holding company also said it “does not intend to pursue a sale of individual business units in connection with this process.”

Last month, sources said the company, which owns Grey Worldwide and other units, had hired the two investment banks to explore strategies, including a possible sale [Adweek Online, June 25].

Analysts and other observers pegged Grey’s sale value at upwards of $1 billion.

Besides Grey Worldwide, Grey Global owns 12 operating units including Grey Direct, G2, GCI, GWhiz Entertainment, MediaCom and Alliance.

Its largest global client is Procter & Gamble. To date, WPP Group has emerged as the leading suitor of Grey Global, and last week, sources said Havas is trying to enlist equity partners to make a run at Grey.

A Grey representative declined comment beyond today’s statement.