WPP and Benatti, a timeline

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Nov. 1996: Marco Benatti and Martin Sorrell meet to discuss a potential purchase by WPP of Mr. Benatti's stake in Chris Ingram Associates.

March 1997: WPP buys his CIA stake.

March 2002: WPP names Mr. Benatti country manager for Italy.

July 2002: Mr. Benatti suggests WPP buy control of MediaClub.

Dec. 14, 2005: Mr. Benatti and Mr. Sorrell disagree about what part of WPP should fund a multimillion-euro development budget. They decide to meet in January to reopen the subject.

Dec. 22, 2005: Mr. Benatti clashes with WPP Italia Chief Operating Officer Daniela Weber over who runs the office. They decide to take the issue up with Mr. Sorrell.

Jan. 9, 2006: Mr. Sorrell and Ms. Weber confront Mr. Benatti in his Milan office and fire him.

Jan. 11, 2006: WPP files suit against Mr. Benatti, alleging he did not report an indirect but significant stake in MediaClub in 2002, and that he funneled WPP clients to FullSix, a media company in which he owns a 42% stake.

Feb. 10, 2006: Mr. Benatti announces he has filed a countersuit against WPP, alleging defamation of character.

Feb. 15, 2006: BluGroup, a holding company Mr. Benatti controls, gets regulatory approval to attempt a takeover of FullSix; WPP vows to maintain its 26% stake.

Feb. 23, 2006: Morgan Stanley downgrades WPP, citing "recent issues in Italy, where the country manager has been dismissed and fraud investigations begun."

Feb. 24, 2006: Mr. Benatti files suit against Mr. Sorrell, alleging defamation of character.

Feb. 27, 2006: BluGroup launches formal takeover bid for FullSix.

* Some dates and information were provided by Mr. Benatti

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