WPP looks to up bid for divorce-seeking ADK

Martin Sorrell

The world’s largest advertising company, WPP said it will look to increase its bid for Japan’s ADK should Bain Capital’s bid offer fail.

Japan’s Asatsu-DK Inc, also known as ADK had announced its plans to severe a 20-year relationship with WPP for strategic reasons by looking to sell majority shares to Bain in a USD1.3 billion deal.

London-based WPP said it will look at spending more by increasing its stake in ADK to 33% in case Bain’s 3,660 yen a share offer bid fails.

“With the approval of the board and other shareowners we would also be prepared, as requested by some shareowners, to increase our shareholding in ADK to 33 percent,” WPP said.

It would be recalled that ADK and WPP formed their alliance in 1998 to set up joint ventures and cultivate clients. They exchanged equity stakes but the Japanese firm says synergies from the tie-up failed to materialise.

Neither ADK not Bain had commented on WPP’s new approach to taking control of a company it was once ‘in love’ with.