Tempus Rejects WPP Overtures, May Seek Alliance with Aegis

05 June 2001

WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell is not famed for taking ‘no’ for an answer - a fact of which Tempus Group founder and chief executive Chris Ingrams is uncomfortably well aware.

There has been a growing chill between the two tycoons as WPP Group gradually built an unwelcome 22 per cent stake in Tempus - parent of CIA Medianetwork. The climate has become frostier yet following Sorrell’s recent unsuccessful overture to rival media specialist Aegis Group proposing a share swap which would have given WPP a further five per cent of Tempus.

A (temporarily?) thwarted Sorrell then publicly opined it unlikely the two smaller media groups would remain independent for much longer.

Close observers of the media agency scene now believe a merger between Tempus and Aegis is not only feasible but would be welcomed by Ingram. Others are hedging their bets, speculating that one or another of the major networks - Havas, Omnicom or Bcom3 - might ride in as a white knight.

Fait vos jeux!

News source: CampaignLive (UK)