Hitting back at comments made last week by US investment bank Morgan Stanley, Sir Martin Sorrell, ceo of WPP Group, insisted it could fund a takeover bid for Grey Global [WAMN: 23-Aug-04] without weakening its financial position.

He refuted Morgan Stanley's assertion that such an acquisition -- currently at due diligence stage -- would 'not help WPP to achieve its long-term goals'. Riposted Sorrell: "It doesn't move the needle at all. Grey, in the context of WPP, is not enormous."

The bank also voiced its opinion that WPP will not lodge a bid. But according to a report in UK Sunday newspaper The Observer, if one is made, it would be mainly funded by a £500,000 ($907.1m; €743.8m) rights issue.

While another entrail-raker told the newspaper that the "market's assumption" is that Sorrell will bid and his bid would "be equity issued".

Crystal balls at twenty paces, gentlemen?

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff