Grey Global Group acquisition approved by European Commission

NEW YORK: The European Commission (EC) has approved WPP's proposed acquisition of Grey Global Group.

NEW YORK: The European Commission (EC) has approved WPP's proposed acquisition of Grey Global Group.

The merged entity would not "significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it," according to an EC release.

The EC made the decision after analyzing many countries in the EU and found that the existence of strong companies made the environment stable for a new media entity while maintaining competition.

WPP and Grey entered into the agreement in September 2004. WPP is purchasing Grey for $1.52 billion, half in cash and half in WPP shares. Both Paris-based Havas and San Francisco-based private equity firm Hellman & Friedman were rumored to be in the hunt to buy Grey.

WPP's PR firms include Burson-Marsteller, Ogilvy PR, Hill & Knowlton, and Cohn & Wolfe. Grey's major PR firm is GCI Group. APCO completed a management buyout from Grey in October 2004.

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