NEWS7 June 2011

Aegis shares up 7% on talk of Synovate sale

M&A News

UK — Shares in Aegis shot up 7% yesterday on news that the company is in talks with Ipsos about a possible sale of its research division, Synovate.

Aegis, which comprises a media-buying business alongside the Synovate research arm, has been viewed as a possible takeover target for some time. Analysts say that a purchase of Synovate would make a buyout of the remaining business likely.

There has also been speculation that a rival bid for Synovate might come from German research agency GfK, whose planned merger with TNS three years ago was beaten off by a bid from WPP.

Synovate’s value has been estimated at around £500m.

Aegis’s shares rose by 9.8p yesterday to 151p, and closed today at 150.2p.

Ipsos confirmed yesterday that its board had given management the green light to proceed with the talks.

UPDATE 7/6/11 18:00: Advertising group Publicis has ruled out making a bid for Synovate, and WPP is also reportedly not interested in buying the agency.