Global ad agency giant WPP bids for remaining share of ANZ operation


• WPP currently holds a stake of approximately 61.5%

WPP has submitted a proposal to the board of WPP Australia and New Zealand to pursue an acquisition of the remaining shares in WPP AUNZ.

WPP currently holds a stake of approximately 61.5% of the share capital of WPP AUNZ, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

WPP said the proposed acquisition is in line with its global strategy of simplifying its structure and will move WPP to 100% ownership and control of its Australian and New Zealand operations.

The proposal made by WPP, of A$0.55 per share in cash, represents a premium of approximately 34.1% to the closing price of WPP AUNZ on 27 November 2020. The total aggregate consideration payable by WPP for the remaining shares would be approximately A$181m.

The proposal is subject to customary conditions (including regulatory approvals) and, if implemented, is expected to be completed in 2021.

WPP AUNZ notified the ASX this morning it has a received an unsolicited proposal from its majority shareholder WPP plc to acquire all of the ordinary shares that it does not already.

The independent directors, along with its advisers, are considering the proposal and shareholders are being advised to take no action in relation to WPP plc’s proposal until they receive the independent directors’ formal recommendation.

WPP AUNZ said it will update shareholders, in accordance with the company’s continuous disclosure obligations, in due course.

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