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UPDATE 2-Bain wins WPP support for $1.4 bln Asatsu-DK buy

UPDATE 2-Bain wins WPP support for $1.4 bln Asatsu-DK buy
From Reuters - December 6, 2017

TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital has won enough shareholder support to complete its tender offer of Asatsu-DK Inc (ADK) (9747.T), allowing the Japanese advertising agency to end a bitter two-decade partnership with top shareholder WPP (WPP.L).

Bain received 87 percent in the tender offer of Japans third-biggest ad agency, at 3,660 yen ($32.55) each, a regulatory filing showed on Thursday. It had been seeking more than half of ADK to take it private in a 152 billion yen ($1.35 billion) deal announced in October.

Britains WPP, the worlds biggest advertising group and ADKs largest shareholder with a 25 percent stake, had initially tried to block Bains tender offer, which it said undervalued the company. But it reversed its position last month after agreeing to discuss plans to reinvest in ADK at a later date. Bains final offer price was unchanged from the original.

The deal effectively ends the alliance between WPP and ADK, forged in 1998 to jointly cultivate clients and set up ventures. The partners never got along, and towards the end of their affair they bickered over digital strategy and what to do with loss-making overseas operations.

Todays successful tender offer close is an important milestone in ADKs growth story and we are confident that Bain Capital is the right partner to take us through this next phase of transformation, ADK CEO Shinichi Ueno said in a statement.

Bains acquisition will allow ADK to focus more on fast-growing areas such as mobile video advertising, while WPP may be able to maintain access to the worlds third-largest ad market - worth about 6.2 trillion yen ($55 billion) - through a stake in the Bain-led investment vehicle.

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