WPP FACES DEADLINE FOR TEMPUS ACQUISITION

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- WPP Group must disclose by 7 a.m. London time Tuesday how many of Tempus Group's shareholders have accepted WPP's $630 million offer for the U.K.-based media buying specialist.

The deadline for acceptances was this afternoon.

If 90% of the outstanding Tempus shares -- WPP already owned 22% before making its bid -- are committed to WPP, the holding company should wind up owning Tempus.

However, with the acquisition looking increasingly expensive as advertising agency stock prices plunged in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, WPP is believed to be looking at ways to back out of the deal.

One option is to cite a "material adverse change" clause, although WPP could have a weak case because the company continued buying Tempus stock after Sept. 11.

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