WPP buys shares to gain second place at Chime board

WPP has continued its recent acquisition of shares at Chime Communications, and now holds more than 20% of Lord Bell's group.

Sir Martin Sorrell: WPP owner
Sir Martin Sorrell: WPP owner

It is understood that by exceeding the 20% threshold, WPP is now entitled to increase its board representation at Chime from one to two nominees. 

A statement issued by Chime last Friday reads: ‘The company has been notified that, as of 13 March 2012, WPP had a direct interest in 16,409,299 ordinary shares of 25 pence each, which represents 20.04% of the issued share capital of the company.

‘The number of voting rights is 16,409,299. This notification has been triggered by an increase in the holding of WPP crossing above the 20% threshold.’

WPP's increased purchase of Chime shares was first reported last December. WPP is not under any obligation to make a bid for Chime unless its shareholding passes the 30% mark.

Chime board members Lord Bell and Piers Pottinger are currently in talks about buying back some of the group’s PR businesses.

Last month, WPP owner Sir Martin Sorrell said he opposes the plan by Lord Bell and other senior managers including Piers Pottinger, to buy out parts of the company’s PR division.

‘I think it sets a terrible precedent,’ said Sorrell. ‘It isn’t logical, and if you start to dismember the management of it, where does that begin and where does that end?’

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