WPP bids for remaining shares in loss-making WPP AUNZ

WPP has moved to tidy up one of the anomalies in its global empire, its 61.5% holding in WPP AUNZ. The business, formerly mostly STW, has flatlined at best recently with newish CEO Jens Monsees (left), a former BMW executive, trying to make it more digital and moving to a campus-based model for the rambling business.

WPP has made an unsolicited bid of A$0.55 per share or A$181m, a premium of 34.1% to the previous price. The shares have already risen to this level suggesting that WPP will have to sweeten the offer. A premium of about a third is not particularly generous – WPP has cited difficult trading conditions in the region – although it’s about the same level of premium currently being offered in a number of Covid-era takeovers.

WPP AUNZ, a publicly-listed company, has advised shareholders to wait for advice from the company’s independent directors.

WPP AUNZ’s revenue fell 16.5% to A$342.27 million in the first half of 2020 and company posted a statutory loss of A$174m.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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