NEWS23 June 2011

Sorrell confirms WPP not interested in Synovate bid

Europe M&A UK

UK/FRANCE— WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell has confirmed that his company is not interested in making a bid for Synovate – whose parent company Aegis has been in talks with Ipsos about a possible sale.

Sorrell was speaking to a Dow Jones reporter at the Cannes Lions festival in France. Unnamed senior sources at the company had already said that a bid had been ruled out.

Sorrell said WPP might be interested in buying other parts of Aegis – which incorporates a media business alongside the Synovate market research arm.

WPP acquired TNS in 2008 for £1.1bn, incorporating the firm into its Kantar research division. The latest industry figures indicate that a combined Ipsos and Synovate would rival Kantar’s $3.2bn annual revenue with a total of $2.4bn.

Aegis and Ipsos revealed earlier this month that they were in talks about Ipsos potentially buying Synovate. The Guardian reported earlier this week that Aegis chairman John Napier and Ipsos CEO Didier Truchot have met Vincent Bolloré, who controls 26.5% of Aegis, to discuss the possibility of a deal.