WPP gives go-ahead for FD MBO

WPP is to give the green light to the MBO of city PR group FD International after striking a deal this week to buy FD parent company Cordiant Communications.

Sources close to both WPP and FD confirmed the MBO of troubled ad giant Cordiant’s city PR offering will now go ahead.

The deal had previously been agreed by Cordiant, but had stalled while the group’s creditors sought new owners.

An FD source said: ‘We have heard nothing to the contrary, and it looks like at long last this will happen… There have been so many twists and turns in this that we will not really be pleased until we see it in writing.’

It was reported last month in PRWeek that a team of 25 partners at FD, backed by private-equity firm Advent, are pursuing the buyout attempt. The deal is understood to value the firm at between £25m and £30m.

This week, WPP emerged triumphant over French rival Publicis and its US hedge-fund partner Cerberus Capital Management to take over debt-laden Cordiant.

WPP entered exclusive talks after putting forward an offer believed to be worth around £265m.

A recommended scheme of arrangement was set to be announced this week after PRWeek went to press.

A source close to the deal said the arrangement is likely to result in £10m for equity holders, equating to around 2p per share.

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