ACTIVE VALUE BID TO BLOCK WPP WEAKENING

U.K. Investment Firm Continues to Increase Stake in Cordiant

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LONDON (AdAge.com) -- Opposition to WPP Group's takeover bid for Cordiant Communications Group appears to be losing ground as an alliance between U.K.-based investment firm Active Value and German bank WestLB has broken down.

The firms were behind a proposal

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to invest $60 million into Cordiant, of which $25 million was to come from Active Value, and put in a new management team to run the business. But WestLB told today's Financial Times that the cause was lost in the wake of Cordiant's recommendation that shareholders accept WPP's $425 million bid.

Largest shareholder
Active Value, the largest shareholder in Cordiant, is continuing to build up its stake in the beleaguered ad company -- currently at 24.53% -- with the aim of acquiring a 25% blocking vote and thus gaining a strong negotiating position over Cordiant's future.

A source close to Active Value said, "WestLB was the preferred first option, but there are still other options around. Active Value may yet conclude that WPP is the best option."

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