London-headquartered media and marketing services specialist Tempus Group is to be acquired by Havas Advertising of France for between £400 million and £450m ($560m-$630m; E641.5m- E721.6m).

The agreed deal will catapult Havas into fifth place in the world advertising rankings, overtaking compatriot Publicis Groupe. Although approved by the boards of both companies, the sale awaits ratification both by Havas and Tempus shareholders.

Tempus, which incorporates the international media planning/buying group CIA Medianetwork, is 15% owned by founder Chris Ingram with an additional 15% spilt between other board members.

It has for some time been stalked by WPP Group which has progressively built an unwelcome 22% stake in Tempus. Industry observers are waiting with interest to see how WPP’s voracious chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell reacts to the Havas move.

News source: Wall Street Journal