Multimillion Dollar Loss Raises Question Over Bcom3 IPO

29 May 2001

BCom3 Group, which recently mothballed its initial public offering for an indefinite period citing “market conditions” [WAMN: 29-Mar-01], has posted its first full-year results since its formation in the fall of 1999.

They do not make happy reading either for investors or the group’s prospects for an early market offering.

In the year to December 2000, Bcom3 lost $65.6 million (£46.3m) on revenues of $1.8 billion ((£1.3bn). The figures reflect a number of substantial charges related to the merger which gave it birth – a marriage between two privately held agency networks, Chicago’s Leo Group and the MacManus Group in New York.

The nuptials also attracted a 20 percent strategic holding by Japanese agency giant Dentsu – itself a privately held company and planning an IPO of its own later this year.

The loss heightens speculation that Bcom3’s public offering will never see light of day, despite an assurance by chief executive Roger Haupt that it “remains committed to doing an IPO”.

But the present enervated condition of Bcom3 – the world’s seventh largest advertising group – makes it vulnerable to hostile takeover by one of its larger rivals.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)