WPP AUNZ minority shareholders vote in favour of UK takeover

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 21 April 2021

Global advertising group WPP is expected to take full control of Australian operations at WPP AUNZ sometime next month. 

Most minority shareholders in WPP AUNZ have voted in favour of a takeover offer from the UK-based WPP plc.

At a meeting today, 87.5% of minority shareholders voted, either in person or by proxy, in favour of the $0.70 a share deal offered by WPP.

WPP, the world’s largest advertising group, is paying $230 million to take full control of its Australian subsidiary, soaking up the 38.5% it doesn't own.

The acquisition is in line with WPP's global strategy of simplifying its structure

Robert Mactier, WPP AUNZ’s chairman: “Minority Shareholders have overwhelmingly voted in favour of the transaction which was negotiated on their behalf by the Independent Board Committee.

"The significant transaction premium, compared to recent trading levels, was based on an improved outlook for the business which was delivered as a result of the significant work from (CEO) Jens Monsees and the management team in executing on the group’s transformation strategy.

"That the business was in a position to both weather the COVID-19 crisis, and emerge as a stronger business, is a credit to Jens and his team.

“WPP AUNZ will continue to be a strong force in the Asia Pacific region under full ownership by WPP plc.”

The Supreme Court of New South Wales is expected, at a hearing on Friday, to approve the takeover. 

Shares in WPP AUNZ shares are then expected to be suspended from trading on the ASX from close of trading on Monday.

Mark Read, CEO of WPP: "We are delighted that the shareholders of WPP AUNZ have voted in favour of the scheme of arrangement. Australia and New Zealand have been very important markets for us for many years, and we look forward to investing further in our great agency brands here. Our priorities are to continue to provide outstanding service for our clients, invest in the capabilities modern marketers need to succeed, support our people’s development and work even more closely with our fantastic people and agencies to grow the business."

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