As WPP and Publicis Circle Razorfish, the Sorrell v. Levy Rivalry Could Make It Personal

Last Updated Jul 10, 2009 4:47 PM EDT

WPP and Publicis are competing to acquire Razorfish, reports PaidContent. That means two things: One of them will be forced to pay more than Razorfish is worth in order to get it; and it will be personal. WPP chief Martin Sorrell and Publicis boss Maurice Levy have a longstanding -- and highly entertaining -- personal rivalry.

If the pair really are locked in an auction for Razorfish their advisors may have difficulty making sure the two men focus on the spreadsheets and not how it affects their catfight (see links below for details on the inuslts the pair have traded). Microsoft wants $600 million for Razorfish. A Sorrell v. Levy pissing contest represents their best-case scenario to get it.

BNET previously noted that the smart money is on Publicis, as WPP is already heavily laden with debt. But that doesn't mean Sorrell won't extend himself -- because debt is to Sorrell what mud is to pigs.

Meanwhile: The FT reports Denstu may also make a bid.

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