Chime shareholders to vote on WPP/Providence acquisition on 14 September

Shareholders of Chime Communications are to vote on the proposed £374m acquisition of the firm by a consortium of WPP and Providence on 14 September, with the acquisition expected to be completed in the following month.

Deal: Acquisition is expected to be completed in October
Deal: Acquisition is expected to be completed in October

In a statement to the stock market today (21 August), Chime said its independent shareholders – which excludes WPP, whose current stake in the business is around 20 per cent – will vote during a meeting in London on the afternoon of 14 September.

WPP and the Chime management, which already agreed the deal on 31 July, will formally cast their votes in a separate meeting that afternoon. The deal needs approval from both sets of votes.

In an outline timetable, Chime said it expected its shares to be suspended on 6 October and de-listed between 9 and 16 October, when the acquisition would be completed.

Two weeks ago Chime reached an agreement to sell 100 per cent of its shares for 365p per share, along with an interim dividend for the current year of 2.53 pence per share. This represented approximately a third more than the closing price of the shares of 275 pence on 29 July.

Chime’s shares will be held by Bidco, "a newly incorporated entity indirectly controlled by funds managed by Providence", in which WPP will acquire "an indirect minority interest", the statement says.

Speaking at the time of the agreement, Chime chairman Lord Davies of Abersoch said: "To fulfil Chime’s considerable growth potential, significant new capital is required. Providence and WPP offer Chime both the capital and the industry expertise to fast-track our ambitions to build a full-scale, global sports marketing and communications business."

Chime's PR portfolio includes agencies such as Good Relations, Team Spirit and Harvard.

Earlier this week the company reported a 16 per cent fall in adjusted like-for-like operating profit to £15.2m for the first half of 2015. Chime cited a "tough half-year comparative" against the same period last year, which included the football World Cup in Brazil.

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