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World’s Biggest Advertising Company Wants To Take Control Of Oz Arm

WPP plc, the world’s biggest advertising company, has made a bid to take full control of the firm’s Australian division, WPP AUNZ.

WPP AUNZ is a group of 90 companies which run the public relations and marketing for big tech companies such as Microsoft, Google and Adobe.

On Monday November 30, WPP plc sent an unsolicited proposal to acquire all the ordinary shares in WPP AUNZ it does not already own for the price of $0.55 per share.

It currently owns 61.5% of the issued capital in WPP AUNZ.

If the UK-based WPP plc takes full control of the Australian division, the company will be de-listed from the ASX and will not be obliged to lodge its financials.

Andrew Scott, COO of WPP, wrote to the WPP AUNZ board: “WPP AUNZ has a portfolio of leading brands in the Australasian region but we remain cautious of the environment and agree with the sentiment of WPP AUNZ CEO Jens Monsees regarding the current level of economic uncertainty in the regions in whichWPP AUNZ operates and we are mindful of the weak trading conditions currently impacting WPP AUNZ.

“As a 61.5% majority shareholder and a partner in many of WPP AUNZ’s businesses, we remain committed to WPP AUNZ, however, our ability to deploy resources and assist the business is limited by the current shareholding structure. We believe that we are best able to support WPP AUNZ in maximising its potential by moving to 100% ownership.”

The independent directors of WPP AUNZ are now considering the proposal.

The news comes four and a half years after STW Group and WPP merged, which made WWP AUNZ the fifth-largest division of the company.

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