WPP NAMES NEWLY MERGED MEDIA SHOPS

Mediaedge:CIA Will Have Combined Billings of $17 Billion

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The new agency formed by the merger of WPP Group's media shop the Media Edge and Tempus Group's CIA will be called Mediaedge:CIA, the company announced today.

The newly formed company will have combined billings of more than $17 billion. CIA has 57 offices in 28 markets with a sizable presence in Europe and a smaller scale in the U.S., Africa and Asia Pacific.

Media Edge has 103 offices in 78 countries worldwide, with the bulk of its offices in the U.S. and Latin America.

Executive changes
Charles Courtier

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and Mainardo de Nardis, currently global CEOs of Media Edge and CIA, respectively, will head the group together. Mr. Courtier becomes executive chairman, while Mr. de Nardis will lead as CEO. Beth Gordon, currently Media Edge chairman, will become chairman of WPP's media parent company, according to the announcement.

WPP had been in a protracted battle with Havas Advertising to acquire Tempus. The deal was settled finally in WPP's favor last month, although the company will be paying more than twice Tempus' market value. According to one analyst, Tempus will cost WPP almost 5% of its market cap, which currently stands at $10 billion.

WPP had balked on the Tempus deal, claiming that "material adverse changes" made it impossible for it to follow through on its offer of approximately $630 million. A U.K. takeover panel refused to allow WPP to pull out and the company acquiesced.

Ingram's status
The status of Chris Ingram, founder of CIA and chairman-CEO of the Tempus Group, is still being discussed.

Ad Age earlier reported that WPP CEO Martin Sorrell was expected to offer him a position as co-chair of the combined entity. Mr. Ingram was not expected to accept the job.

A spokesman for the Media Edge said Mr. Ingram is currently working with the agency on the integration of CIA.

"Otherwise, Chris is in discussions with [Mr. Sorrell] about the exact role he will play in the combined agency," the spokesman said.

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