London-based WPP is offering 0.835 WPP share for each Y&R share. Based on a midday May 11 WPP share price of $63-1/16, the price would be around $53 per Y&R share. With 72 million outstanding Y&R shares and 19 million outstanding Y&R options, that comes to a total $4.8 billion. Based on May 5 closing prices, the deal was worth $63 per share for a total $5.7 billion.
Publicis issued a statement May 11 that it had never made any official offer for Y&R, as the conditions of the sale were considered "not optimal.'' Publicis also denied that it was again in discussions with Y&R. A Publicis insider expressed surprise at the published reports, suggesting that Y&R management opposed to the near-certain merger with WPP could be behind the stories.
Copyright May 2000, Crain Communications Inc.