WPP seals deal for Cordiant

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[London] WPP Group sealed the deal to buy Cordiant Communications Group with approval from 99.17% of Cordiant's shareholders after the largest investor, Active Value, voted its 28.75% stake in favor of the sale instead of blocking it as threatened. But the rebel fund managers claim to be exploring legal action to get compensation for the "destruction of value" of Cordiant shares. Brian Myerson, Active Value's joint managing director, jumped onstage during the shareholder meeting last week and asked shareholders to remove "three [Cordiant executives] as a public protest against their disgraceful bonuses and payoffs." Mr. Myerson said Chief Executive David Hearn will gain $3.2 million, Finance Director Andrew Boland $1.3 million and Chairman Nigel Stapleton $320,000 in bonuses negotiated in June to be paid if Cordiant's ownership changed. Angry shareholders voted Mr. Hearn and Mr. Boland off Cordiant's board at the meeting, but they are likely to remain as chief executive and finance director for a three-month transition after WPP takes control of on Cordiant Aug. 1.
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