Chime Communications shareholders approve WPP/Providence acquisition

Chime Communications shareholders have overwhelmingly approved the proposed £374m acquisition of the firm by a consortium of WPP and Providence, paving the way for the deal to completed next month.

The proposal, which was announced in July, was agreed almost unanimously yesterday afternoon at the meeting for independent shareholders, with 179 voters in favour and just two against. WPP, which maintains its 20 per cent stake in Chime, was not entitled to vote at that meeting.

In an outline timetable, the sports marketing and comms group has said it expected its shares to be suspended on 6 October and delisted between 9 and 16 October, at which point the acquisition would be completed.

Last month, 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".

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 comms business."

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

In August, 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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