WPP Goes Hostile in Bid for TNS

04 August 2008

LONDON: Having huffed and puffed for a period of several weeks in his attempt to blow down the house that GfK wants to build with Taylor Nelson Sofres, Sir Martin Sorrell donned his Big Bad Wolf outfit Friday and went officially hostile in his bid to grab the latter. 

A WPP Group statement published Friday read: "WPP announces that the offer document containing the formal offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of TNS is being posted today."

The bid values the target at $2.28 billion (€1.46bn; £1.15bn) and closes on August 29.

GfK promptly issued a statement of its own urging TNS shareholders to hold fire while it finalizes a counter-bid: "GfK is continuing to actively pursue an all-cash offer for TNS and discussions in relation to this possible offer are progressing positively.

"GfK therefore urges TNS shareholders to take no action in relation to WPP's offer for TNS at this time. GfK reiterates that no assurance can be given that an offer will be made."

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