GfK drops bid for rival TNS

GfK, the German market research company, has today (August 27) dropped its bid for rival Taylor Nelson Sofres after failing to secure funding for the deal. Its decision leaves only a £1.1bn bid from WPP Group on the table although TNS says it will continue to oppose the offer.

WPP’s pursuit forced GfK to abandon an all-share merger of equals with TNS. It tried to launch its own buyout after WPP’s hostile bid for TNS, but talks with the German Herz family and subsequently with venture capital company Apax broke down.

In a statement, GfK says it has “concluded that the terms of the financing available did not enable a sufficiently compelling alternative cash offer to be made for TNS that was also economically in the best interests of the GfK shareholders”.

Separately, TNS today released its interim results. Pre-tax profits were down £2.9m at £31m in the six months to the end of June. Operating profit was 19.6% up on the same period last year at £54.3m, after one-off items were stripped out, with underlying revenues 5% ahead at £580.4m. Net income fell to £19.6m from £22.2m in the same period last year.

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