Chime agrees to sell to WPP/Providence for £374m

WPP and Providence Equity Partners have agreed terms this morning to buy Chime Communications for £374 million.

Martin Sorrell: WPP had held an approximate 18% share of Chime
Martin Sorrell: WPP had held an approximate 18% share of Chime

Chime, the communications group that owns VCCP, accepted a cash offer for its entire issued share capital at 365 pence per share, as well as an interim dividend for the current year of 2.53 pence per share.

Sir Martin Sorrell’s WPP had already held an approximate 18 per cent share in Chime while Providence, a US private equity firm, identified Chime as an attractive acquisition due to its sports marketing and advertising credentials.

Lord Davies of Abersoch, the chairman of Chime, said: "Chime has achieved great success to date in building a leading position in the global sports marketing and communications industry, which is reflected in the attractive premium being offered to shareholders.

"However, to fulfil Chime’s considerable growth potential, significant new capital is required. Providence and WPP offer Chime both the capital and the industry expertise to fast-track our ambitions to build a full scale, global sports marketing and communications business.

"Taking this into account, Chime’s independent Directors unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the resolutions at the General Meeting and in favour of the Scheme at the Court meeting."

The deal for Chime, founded by Margaret Thatcher’s former media adviser, Lord Bell, marks a premium of 33 per cent after the companies revealed they were in advanced talks on Wednesday.