Havas Extends Tempus Offer

BOSTON–Havas Advertising, the Paris-based holding company engaged in a battle with larger WPP Group for media specialist Tempus Group, on Tuesday said it has received acceptances for 25.6 percent of Tempus shares and has acquired a further 3.6 percent of the company, bringing its total stake in Tempus to almost 30 percent.

Havas has extended until Sept. 3 its $610 million offer for Tempus and said in a prepared statement that it “has noted the announcement of a counter offer for Tempus and is considering its position in light of this.” WPP group has offered $629 million for Tempus. WPP CEO Martin Sorrell owns 22 percent of Tempus–and it is widely expected that Havas will up its bid in order to add the operation to its Media Planning Group.

Also on Tuesday, Havas reported first-half 2001 revenue of $994 million based on the current rate of exchange. Global billing for the first half was approximately $6.7 billion and gains from new business were $1.5 billion. Adjusted to account for currency fluctuations and the late-2000 acquisition of Snyder Communications, revenue and billings each grew 5.5 percent compared with the first half of 2000.

Havas, parent to the Euro RSCG and Arnold worldwide networks, will report earnings on Oct. 2. Havas shares have traded on the Nasdaq in the $9-10 range of late. The 52-week high was $17.31, the low $8.82