WPP, Y&R sign merger agreement

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WPP Group, London, notified the London Stock Exchange May 12 that it and Young & Rubicam, New York, have signed a definitive merger agreement, valuing WPP's purchase of Y&R at $4.7 billion. However, the U.K. holding company's share price continued to slip in London trading May 12, reducing the value of the deal to Y&R shareholders.

The all-stock acquisition was unanimously approved by both companies' boards. The companies plan to publish detailed information on the merger for their shareholders in two to three months. Subject to approval by WPP and Y&R shareholders and regulatory authorities, the closing of the merger is targeted for this autumn.

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Copyright May 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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