Tempus to cease trading on January 17

LONDON - Tempus will cease trading as a public company and have its listing removed from the London Stock Exchange on January 17, as WPP Group completes its £437m acquisition of the company.

WPP said that, as of November 6 when its offer became unconditional, it had received 96.2% of acceptances from Tempus shareholders. It said it plans to exercise its right under the Companies Act and compulsorily acquire the small amount of outstanding shares and has issued notices to Tempus shareholders who have not yet accepted the offer informing them of this.

Last month, WPP indicated that it planned to merge the Tempus-owned CIA with The Media Edge before the end of the year. The merger of CIA with the Young & Rubicam media-buying arm will create the world's fourth-largest media-planning and buying company.

The merger is being overseen by TME CEO Charles Courtier, who is based in the US, and by CIA CEO Fiona McAnena in the UK.

WPP has already added four of its own executives to the board of Tempus, following the decision to move ahead with the deal to buy the media-buying firm.

These executives include: Charles Courtier, chief executive of The Media Edge; Hans-Willem Germeraad, head of The Media Edge's European business; and Tom Handy, finance director of The Media Edge. Also joining is WPP deputy finance director Christopher Sweetland.

Their appointment to the Tempus board marked the beginning of the merger process of the two agencies, which will eventually create a media-buying company with billings of £12.2bn.

Despite the battle to get out of the deal, WPP has, throughout the long-running process, remained convinced of the long-term strategic benefits of combining WPP with Tempus.

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