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News 21 Apr 2021 - 2 min read

WPP global set to take full control of WPP AUNZ after shareholder vote

By Sam Buckingham-Jones - Senior Writer

Minority shareholders of WPP AUNZ voted in favour of a buyout from WPP plc, meaning - pending approval from the NSW Supreme Court - the Australian and New Zealand business will be fully-owned by its UK-based headquarters by about mid-May. Shareholders, who owned 31.5 per cent of issued capital, will receive $0.70 per share. 

What you need to know: 

  • More than 85 per cent of minority shareholders of WPP AUNZ voted in favour of a buyout scheme put forward by the global WPP business
  • The buyout means those who ownsw 38.5 per cent of WPP AUNZ will receive $0.70 per share
  • The scheme is awaiting approval from the NSW Supreme Court  

The global headquarters of advertising group WPP is set to take full control of the Australia and New Zealand arm of the business after a meeting in which minority shareholders voted in favour of a buyout plan.

More than 87 per cent of minority shareholders who voted at the meeting - in person or by proxy - voted in favour of an arrangement, in which UK-based WPP plc would buy the 38.5 per cent of WPP AUNZ shares it doesn't own for $0.70 each. WPP plc currently owns 61.5 per cent of the issued capital. 

The scheme is expected to be implemented by Tuesday, May 18, pending court approval. 

Mark Read, CEO of WPP plc, said: "We are delighted that the shareholders of WPP AUNZ have voted in favour of the scheme of arrangement. Australia and New Zealand have been very important markets for us for many years, and we look forward to investing further in our great agency brands here."

The scheme is subject to approval by the NSW Supreme Court, which is due meet for a hearing on Friday April 23. The board of WPP AUNZ will meet on Thursday, April 22, to consider the declaration of a special dividend of up to $0.156 per share, fully franked. 

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