WPP, has lashed out at private equity giant Bain Capital saying its offer to buy ADK “significantly
undervalues” the company. It must be mentioned that WPP owns just under 25 per cent of Japan's
Tokyo-listed ADK, and is unhappy with Bain's tender offer – which is supported by ADK's board – to take
the company private for just over £1bn.
“Have the board ever considered or discussed any alternative bona fide offers or proposals for the
company which may be of greater benefit to the stakeholders in the business including its clients and its
people or has the only consideration been management’s concern about their own position in the
future,” asked WPP in a statement released Oct. 12.
ADK had said that while its alliance with WPP, which included cross-shareholdings as well as a business
partnership, had “initially provided a certain level of results”, a “concrete plan for collaboration” that
contributed to both groups’ interests had not been attained, and there had been no “business synergy
that expands mutual interests” as originally intended. The Japanese firm added that it had differing
views from the British group on changes to the advertising industry and that it had become “difficult to
make swift and flexible decisions” in that environment. Instead, it had decided to move to an open
network with a range of different partners.
In the statement, WPP said that the tender offer "significantly undervalues ADK", adding that this is a
view stated "both publicly and privately" by other shareholders.
The statement also cast blame on ADK’s management and accused the company of attempting to
"improperly" terminate the business agreement with WPP.