Murmurs Grow Over GfK-TNS Future
Reports in the UK press have suggested the GfK-TNS merger may be ‘under threat’ after TCS Capital Management, a US hedge fund, reportedly offered its 6% shareholding in the group to would-be TNS buyer WPP Group.
Reports in the Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk ) said the ‘delay’ in publishing the terms of the GfK-TNS merger had ‘provoked scepticism that the nil-premium merger of equals will take place’ while The Times (www.timesonline.co.uk ) believes TNS faces ‘an uphill battle to win shareholder approval’ for the original nil premium ‘merger of equals’ idea.
WPP boss Martin Sorrell is said to be waiting to see more detailed proposals published by the betrothed British and German firms before deciding on his next move. TCS reportedly wants a price in excess of 250p for its stake, although some analysts believe WPP will have to offer something closer to 300p to win over most shareholders.
The proposed ‘merger of equals’ was first announced at the end of April, since when TNS has rejected two offers from WPP (here and here) from Sorrell.
Web sites are at www.gfk.com , www.tnsglobal.com and www.wpp.com .