In the wake of much mouthing by the media and disgruntled investors, the board of Cordiant Communications – the world’s eighth largest agency holding company and parent of the Bates Worldwide network – is reportedly finalizing plans for a breakup of the group’s assets.

A board meeting last Thursday discussed plans to sell several Cordiant units in order to relieve pressure from the group’s bankers to whom it owes over £200 million ($320.22m; €299.43m). Its Hamburg-headquartered European agency network Scholtz & Friends is said to be already under the hammer.

Financial Dynamics, Cordiant's highly profitable financial public relations business, will be sold to its management in a buyout plan already on the table.

However, Bates, the jewel in Cordiant’s crown, will remain within the ailing group – although many expect it is only a matter of time before Bates becomes the target of bids from larger rivals such as WPP Group, Publicis or Havas.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff