WPP “surprised and disappointed” by TNS rejection

WPP Group chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell says he is “surprised and disappointed” that market research group Taylor Nelson Sofres rejected his £950m offer after just 24 hours. Sorrell says he is reviewing his position and is encouraging TNS shareholders to “engage” with WPP.

TNS last week announced plans for a nil premium merger with German rival GfK and on Sunday announced it had rejected a 230p per share offer from WPP. The Nielsen Company, owned by a consortium of private equity groups including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, is also understood to be mulling an approach for TNS following the TNS-GfK merger announcement.

In an announcement this morning (May 6), Sorrell urges shareholders to “engage with us rather than simply persisting on an exclusive basis with a ‘nil premium merger’ arrangement with GfK”.

He adds: “We are puzzled that our attempts to engage with TNS management on a friendly basis have been hindered and resisted. We are disappointed that TNS has not indicated that it would be willing to provide us with the same information which it has given to GfK as part of their nil premium merger discussions.”

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