The ASX has announced that WPP AUNZ’s shares are in a trading halt until Friday pending an announcement from WPP PLC in the UK.
In late November, WPP PLC announced its intention to acquire the remaining part of the local business. It currently holds a stake of approximately 61.5 per cent of the share capital of WPP AUNZ.
At the time, London HQ offered to buy the remainder of the business at $A0.55 share. However, following news of the buyout the share price shot over $A0.57 mark.
Presumably, Friday’s announcement will detail a new buyout price.
WPP AUNZ has not made any official comment, however it has as appointed UBS as its financial adviser and Herbert Smith Freehills as its legal adviser.
If the takeover was complete, it is unclear how it would impact WPP AUNZ’s management team including CEO Jens Monsees.
The local management team has seen a number of high profile redundancies over the past 12 months including its chief customer officer, Sunita Gloster, and executive director, John Steedman.
There had also been industry rumblings of management disquiet over Monsees’ leadership and direction for the business.
However, in an interview with B&T last week, Monsees insisted it was a strong and harmonious team despite the impact from COVID.
“At the end of the day, it’s always the people who decide what they can take on and what they cannot take on in terms of taking a new approach to a new dynamic market situation,” Monsees said.
“The most important factor is that you build a culture of trust and also have patience with people. There’s an expression in German that says: who wants finds ways and who doesn’t want finds reasons,” he said.