With the ink only just drying on WPP’s acquisition of digital data company BiScience, Martin Sorrell has whipped his chequebook out again to grab more of VCCP owner Chime Communications for the tidy sum of £374m.
Set up by Tory grandee Lord Bell, Chime has a number of DM and data agencies, including VCCP Me and Conduit Data Services, but it would appear Sorrell has got his eye on a bigger prize this time – the lucrative sports marketing business which Chime runs.
Not that he will reap all the rewards – Providence Equity Partners has also put up some cash for the deal, which sees WPP increase its stake from 18%.
Chime chairman Lord Davies 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.”
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