WPP agrees to honour Tempus takeover at original share price

Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP has abandoned its attempt to pull out of a

deal to buy Tempus and will go ahead with the £432 million

takeover of the media specialist.

WPP notified the Stock Exchange on Tuesday afternoon that it would not

be appealing against the Takeover Panel's ruling that the agreement must

be honoured.

The failure of the communications giant to convince the panel to allow

it to walk away means it must stand by its original agreement to pay

555p for each Tempus share.

It means that WPP will now press ahead with the merger of its media

agency, The Media Edge, with the Tempus-owned CIA media network.

Chris Ingram, Tempus' chairman, said he intended to remain at the merged

group for at least as long as it took for the integration to be


Sorrell had indicated that he would be appealing against the Takeover

Panel's ruling against him. He had argued that Tempus' business had

suffered a "material adverse change" following the 11 September attacks

in the US.

WPP said in a statement that it had "notified the Takeover Panel that it

does not intend to appeal to the appeal committee against the decision

of the Takeover Panel (announced on 1 November 2001)".

It added: "Throughout the bid process, the board of WPP has remained

convinced of the long-term strategic benefits of combining WPP with

Tempus, particularly in connection with the merger of CIA and TME and

the combination of the Tempus strategic marketing businesses with WPP's

strategic marketing consultancies."

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