The battle for control of Britain's Tempus Group grew appreciably hotter yesterday as WPP Group increased its holding in the contested media planning and buying specialist by a further three per cent.

Sir Martin Sorrell’s latest buy from an unstated source ups WPP’s holding to 25% – still lagging the 29.3% held by Tempus’ preferred suitor Havas Advertising.

The Paris-headquartered global agency and marketing services group also acted yesterday, extending for the second time the deadline for acceptance of its offer. This now closes September 24.

Meantime, the protagonists together with the ad world at large wait to see if, when, and by how much Havas’ wily chief executive Alain de Pouzilhac trumps Sir Martin’s offer of £5.55 per share.

News sources: The Times (London); Advertising Age - Daily Deadline