Havas Restructuring: The Upheaval Nears Its End

05 November 2003

Havas announced Tuesday that the end of its global restructuring is in sight and the program of layoffs and office closures, announced earlier this fall [WAMN: 22-Sep-03], almost completed.

Of the planned 850 staff redundancies worldwide, some 75% have been implemented, reported cfo Jaques Herail; while three-quarters of the forty intended office shutterings have either taken place - or will have done so by the year end.

In a conference call to analysts and bankers, Havas president/coo Bob Schmetterer updated listeners on the group's plan to streamline its structure into a single global network, Euro RSCG, backed in key global markets by Arnold Worldwide as its "creative alternative". Media planning and buying duties for both networks will be serviced by MPG.

Two-thirds of the Arnold units slated to join Euro RSCG have been integrated. While fifty percent of Havas' marketing services businesses within its unravelled Specialized Services unit (also to be merged into Euro) have already been consolidated, Schmetterer reported.

Planned disposals, however, are proceeding at a statelier pace admitted chairman-ceo Alain de Pouzilhac. So far, just one business (UK call center Contact 24) has been sold - although two more sales are expected to be inked this week or next. These are expected to realise in the region of €50 million ($57.24m; £34.09m).

Data sourced from: AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff